Men's Basketball Celebrates Senior Night on Tuesday
March 2, 2014
PHILADELPHIA - Winners of its last three games, the University of Houston Men's Basketball team closes out its regular-season home schedules and recognizes five special student-athletes when it plays host to American Athletic Conference rival USF at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars enjoy a two-game lead over Rutgers for the No. 6 seed and final First-Round bye at the American Athletic Conference Championship, scheduled for March 12-15 at Memphis' FedExForum. With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Cougars need only one win OR one Rutgers loss in those games to clinch the No. 6 seed and bye.
Prior to Tuesday's game, the Cougars will recognize their five-man senior class. Houston will honor forward J.J. Richardson and guards Brandon Morris, Tione Womack, Lawrence Paye and Jimmie Jones around 7:13 p.m., on Guy V. Lewis Court inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Houston enters Tuesday's game on the heels of an impressive 89-79 win against Temple on Saturday night in Philadelphia. With that win, the Cougars extended their winning streak to three straight games and swept the regular-season series against the Owls.
Against Temple, junior forward TaShawn Thomas posted 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting with four rebounds and three assists. With his point total, the Killeen, Texas, native moved past Larry Micheaux and Hakeem Olajuwon into 21st place in Houston history with 1,345 career points.
Thomas also swatted the 200th shot of his collegiate career. Starting all 92 games in his collegiate career, he became only the only the fourth player in Houston history to score 1,300+ points, grab 800+ rebounds and swat 200+ shots, joining Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwight Davis and Greg Anderson.
Redshirt freshman forward Danrad Knowles tied his career high with 19 points, thanks to a perfect shooting night. The Nassau, Bahamas, native hit all seven shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, and all four attempts from the free throw line.
This season, Thomas leads the Cougars with 16.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He is one of only two players to rank among The American's top-seven leaders in both scoring and rebounding, joining UCF's Isaiah Sykes.
House ranks second on the team with 13.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while Stiggers stands third with 10.4 points per contest. After dishing out six assists vs. Temple, sophomore point guard L.J. Rose now leads the league with 5.4 assists per game and has handed out 51 and only 11 assists in his last eight games.
This marks the third game during a busy stretch for the Cougars that has them playing their final four regular-season games over an eight-day span.
ON THE AIR
Tuesday's game can be seen live on ESPNews or by clicking here with Roxy Bernstein calling the play-by-play action and Stephen Howard providing analysis. Due to the television broadcast, video stream will NOT be available through Cougar All-Access.
Fans can hear Tuesday's game live on 950 AM KPRC or by clicking here with Matt Thomas calling play-by-play and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes providing analysis. The pregame show will start at 7:15 p.m., Tuesday.
Fans can follow live scoring by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com or by clicking here.
USF enters Tuesday's game with a 12-17 overall record and 3-13 mark in The American. The Bulls stand in a tie for eighth with UCF in the latest league standings. USF has lost its last six games and 11 of its last 13.
In its most recent outing, Rutgers rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to take a 74-73 win against the Bulls. Kadeem Jack hit a layup with just 11 seconds remaining, and USF's Victor Rudd's layup attempt and John Egbunu's tip would not fall in buzzer in the loss.
Against the Scarlet Knights, Rudd led all players with 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting and added nine rebounds with a pair of assists. Egbunu totaled 12 points with five rebounds and four blocked shots, while forward Zach Leday added 10 points with four assists. Guard Josh Heath finished with six points, four rebounds and a game-high four assists.
This season, Rudd leads the Bulls with 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Corey Allen, Jr., ranks second with 9.2 points per game but leads the team with 2.8 assists per contest.
Head coach Stan Heath is in his seventh year at USF and his 13th season overall as a head coach. He has posted a 97-127 record at USF and assembled a 209-204 overall career mark.
Heath previously served as head coach at Arkansas (2002-07, 82-71 record) and at Kent State (2001-02, 30-6 record). He has posted an 0-1 record against Houston during his career. Tuesday's game will be the first time that he has faced Houston in Hofheinz Pavilion.
Following Tuesday's game, the Cougars close out the regular season when they meet UCF at 6 p.m. (CST)/7 p.m. EST, Friday, inside CFE Arena in Orlando. The Cougars claimed am 88-84 win in the first meeting of the regular season on Feb. 22 inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
From there, the team heads to Memphis to compete at the American Athletic Conference Championship inside FedExForum. The Cougars' seeding, game time and date and first opponent will be announced once the regular-season standings and seeding are finalized.
Houston Men's Basketball single-game tickets are on sale NOW. Fans can purchase single-game by visiting or calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-Go-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or by clicking here.
To secure parking spaces and to support student-athlete scholarships through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact Cougar Pride at 713-743-GoUH or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab for more information.