Men's Basketball Concludes Regular Season vs. SMU on Saturday

March 6, 2009

SMU MUSTANGS (9-19 • 3-12 C-USA) at HOUSTON COUGARS (18-10 • 9-6 C-USA)
March 7, 2009 • Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) • Houston, Texas • 7 p.m. (CST)

Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP; Willis Wilson, analyst
INTERNET VIDEO : live broadcast at UHCougars.com
LIVE STATS: GameTracker at UHCougars.com
Houston Notes vs. SMU (March 7, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
SMU Notes vs. Houston (March 7, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Conference USA Notebook (March 7, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

2009 Conference USA Championship Bracket in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team wraps up its regular season at 7 p.m., Saturday, when it plays host to Conference USA-rival SMU inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars (18-10 • 9-6 C-USA) will be looking to sweep the regular-season series against the Mustangs after enjoying a 69-56 win in Dallas on Feb. 4. The Cougars also need a win against the Mustangs to put themselves in position to earn a top-four seed and first-round bye at next week's 2009 C-USA Championship, hosted by Memphis on March 11-14.

UH could be seeded anywhere from the No. 3 seed to the No. 5 seed, depending on its game against SMU, UAB's home game against Marshall and UTEP's contest at Southern Miss on Saturday.

UH enters this weekend's contest after a tough 69-60 loss to No. 5/3 Memphis on Wednesday in Houston. In that game, junior guard Aubrey Coleman scored a team-high 19 points while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds for his team-leading 11th double-double of the season.

Coleman, who was named to the NABC All-District 11 First Team earlier this week, leads the Cougars with 19.7 points per game and ranks second on the squad with 8.0 boards per contest. He is the only player in Conference USA to rank among the top-four individual leaders in both categories.

Junior guard Kelvin Lewis ranks second on the team with 18.0 points per game, while senior center Marcus Cousin is tops with 8.5 boards per contest, third best in the league.

Freshman point guard Desmond Wade averages 3.7 assists per game and ranks fifth nationally with 3.15 assists per turnovers.

As the Cougars prepare to wrap up the regular season, they also will recognize a pair of seniors that will be competing in their final home game during pregame ceremonies.

Center Marcus Cousin and guard DaShaun Williams each have made important contributions to the success of the Cougar program during the last two years. They have helped lead UH to more than 40 combined wins, a berth in the inaugural College Basketball Invitational semifinals and a pair of top-five finishes in Conference USA.

DaShaun Williams - Overcame a hand injury in 2008-09 to help lead the Cougars to a 24-10 record and appearance in the CBI semifinals... Although better known for defensive abilities, has been an offensive weapon, scoring a career-high 23 points while playing all 40 minutes at UAB last season... In 2008-09, has competed in 28 games with three starts and scored a season-high 16 points in only 23 minutes at Southern Miss.

Marcus Cousin - Joined the Cougars after transferring from Seton Hall... Played in 29 games as a reserve in 2007-08 and helped lead team to third postseason appearance in a four-year stretch... This season, second on team with eight double-doubles and is ranked among the C-USA leaders in both scoring and rebounding.

Cougar Men's Basketball games can be heard live on 790 AM The Sports Animal or on the Internet at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action and Willis Wilson providing analysis. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off.

Fans can follow the play-by-play action by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.

This is the fourth straight season that the Cougars have faced SMU on the hardwood. The Cougars own a 39-22 (.639) lead in the all-time series, which began during the 1955-56 season but has been played at least once every year since the 2005-06 campaign.

Earlier this season, the Cougars enjoyed a 69-56 win at Moody Coliseum in Dallas on Feb. 11. With that win, UH pushed its current winning streak against the Mustangs to six straight games. The Cougars have not lot to SMU since a 94-69 setback in Dallas on Dec. 17, 2000.

The two teams met at least twice every year from the 1975-76 season through the 1995-96 campaign as rivals in the Southwest Conference.

The Cougars have posted a 19-6 (.760) all-time record against SMU in Houston and bring a three-game home winning streak against the Mustangs into this weekend's contest. UH has not lost to the Mustangs in Hofheinz Pavilion since a 94-80 defeat on Nov. 27, 1999.

A year ago, the Cougars enjoyed a 69-47 win on Feb. 16, 2008, in Houston.

SMU enters this weekend's game after a 67-65 win against Conference USA-rival Southern Miss in Dallas on Wednesday. That win snapped a two-game skid for the Mustangs and was SMU's third win in its last 13 games.

Against Southern Miss, forward Mouhammad Faye led the Mustangs with 18 points, while center Bamba Fall added 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Guard Derek Williams finished with 14 points, while guard Paul McCoy tallied six points with a game-high six assists.

This season, McCoy leads the Mustangs with 13.4 points per game, while Williams has added 11.8 points and 3.5 assists per contest. Fall contributes 9.1 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game.

Now in his eighth year overall, head coach Matt Doherty has posted a 123-127 (.492) career record. In more than two years at SMU, he has compiled a 33-56 (.371) mark. He is 0-5 against the Cougars with all five losses coming during his stint at SMU.

The Cougars begin the postseason when they compete at the 2009 Conference USA Championship on March 11-14, hosted at Memphis' FedExForum. The team's exact seeding will be determined following the conclusion of the regular season Saturday.

The Cougars could be seeded from the No. 3 to the No. 5 seeds, depending on the results of UAB's game against Marshall and UTEP's contest at Southern Miss on Saturday.



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