March 4, 2008
HOUSTON -The University of Houston men's basketball returns to action at 7 p.m., Wednesday, when the Cougars square off against Conference USA rival UCF at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The game marks the Cougars' final regular-season home contest of the season. As part of Senior, the men's basketball program will recognize senior guards Robert McKiver, Lanny Smith and Marcus Malone and forwards Dion Dowell and Tafari Toney in pregame ceremonies.
Houston (21-7, C-USA 10-4) enters the game following an 84-83 set back at East Carolina. In the game, McKiver led the Cougars with 29 points and eight rebounds.
Three days earlier, McKiver poured in a career-high 52 points over Southern Miss on Wednesday. The New Haven, Conn., native set C-USA and Hofheinz Pavilion records, as he became just the fourth Cougar to put up 50 points in a game. His total was also the third-highest in program history.
It also marked the greatest offensive performance posted in NCAA Division I basketball this season and helped raise his season scoring average by more than a point to 23.1, the second highest in C-USA.
For his efforts, McKiver was honored as C-USA Co-Player of the Week on Monday.
Fans can hear Wednesday's game live on 790 AM The Sports Animal with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play and Carl Dukes providing analysis. The pregame show will begin 10 minutes before tip-off.
Dowell leads the Houston with 6.6 rebounds per game, while senior guard Smith dishes a team-best 3.7 assists per game.
With a win over the Knights in Wednesday's game, Houston can clinch a first-round bye in the 2008 C-USA Tournament held at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn. on March 12-15.
With 21 wins, UH the Cougars have equaled the 2005-06 and 1992-93 teams for the highest single-season win totals during the last 15 years. UH also has enjoyed back-to-back 10+-win seasons in C-USA, the first time that has been accomplished as a C-USA member and the first time overall since 1991-92 and 1992-93.
Houston owns a 3-2 all-time record against the Knights. UCF, however, took a 75-72 overtime win over the Cougars last season in Orlando, Fla.
The Knights are led by junior guard Jermaine Taylor, who averages a team-high 21.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.