Men's Basketball Opens C-USA Championship vs. (12) SMU on Wednesday

    Senior center Marcus Cousin
    Senior center Marcus Cousin
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    March 10, 2009

    GAME 30
    2009 CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    (5) HOUSTON COUGARS (19-10 • 10-6 C-USA) vs. (12) SMU MUSTANGS (9-20 • 3-13 C-USA)
    March 11, 2009 • FedExForum (18,400) • Memphis, Tenn. • 8:30 p.m. (CDT)


    RADIO:
    Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
    TELEVISION:none
    INTERNET AUDIO: live broadcast at UHCougars.com
    INTERNET VIDEO: live broadcast at UHCougars.com
    LIVE STATS: Live Stats at UHCougars.com


    GAME NOTES:
    Houston Notes vs. SMU (March 11, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
    SMU Notes vs. Houston (March 11, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
    Conference USA Notebook (March 11, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


    2009 Conference USA Championship Bracket in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Houston men's basketball team opens the postseason when it faces No. 12 seed SMU at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, during the first round of the 2009 Conference USA Championship at FedExForum.

    The Cougars, who are playing as the No. 5 seed, face the Mustangs for the second time in the last four days. UH enjoyed an 89-77 win on Saturday inside Hofheinz Pavilion during the regular-season finale for both teams. With that win, the Cougars swept the regular-season series against the Mustangs.

    The Cougars (19-10 • 10-6 C-USA) are led by a pair of All-Conference USA performers in junior guards Aubrey Coleman and Kelvin Lewis. Coleman, who was named to the league's First Team, leads the Cougars with 19.8 points per game and is a close second with 8.1 boards per contest. He ranks among the C-USA top-four individual leaders in both categories, making him the only player to accomplish that feat.

    Lewis, a member of the All-Conference USA Third Team, is the only Cougar player to start all 29 games to date and has been a valuable asset on both ends of the floor. He ranks second on the team and fourth in the league with 18.0 points per game and ranks among the national leaders in 3-pointers per game and free throw percentage.

    Senior center Marcus Cousin leads the Cougars with 8.2 rebounds and more than two blocks per game, while freshman point guard Desmond Wade is tops with 3.7 assists per game and ranks among the NCAA top-five national leaders with a 3.18 assist : turnover ratio.

    This marks the first time since the 2005 C-USA Championship that the Cougars did not receive a first-round bye. The Cougars tied with UTEP for fourth place in the final regular-season standings, but the Miners claimed the tiebreaker due to winning twice against Southern Miss.


    RADIO / TV INFORMATION
    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. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off.


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


    SERIES HISTORY
    This is the fourth straight season that the Cougars have faced SMU on the hardwood. The Cougars own a 40-22 (.645) 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.

    In 2008-09, the Cougars swept the regular-season series against the Mustangs, taking a 69-56 win in Dallas on Feb. 11 and, most recently, enjoying an 89-77 victory during the regular-season finale in Houston on March 7.

    With that, UH pushed its current winning streak against the Mustangs to seven straight games. The Cougars have not lost 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 3-4 (.429) all-time record against the Mustangs on a neutral court.

    Wednesday's game will be the first time that the Cougars have faced SMU at the postseason event. However, the Cougars have posted a 3-4 (.429) all-time record against the Mustangs at the Southwest Conference Tournament.


    ABOUT SMU
    SMU (9-20 • 3-13 C-USA) enters the 2009 C-USA Championship as losers of three of its last four games, including an 89-77 loss to the Cougars on Saturday inside Hofheinz Pavilion during the regular-season finale for both teams.

    Paul McCoy leads the Mustangs with 13.4 points per game, while Derek Williams is second with 12.5 points per contest after scoring 32 against the Cougars. Bamba Fall leads the way with 7.3 rebounds per contest.

    Now in his eighth year overall, head coach Matt Doherty has posted a 123-128 (.490) career record. In more than two years at SMU, he has compiled a 33-57 (.367) mark. He is 0-6 against the Cougars with all six losses coming during his stint at SMU.


    CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
    The Cougars will compete at the Conference USA Championship for the fifth consecutive season and the 12th time in the last 13 years. Only an absence from the 2004 Championship prevents a much longer Cougar streak.

    UH has posted a 6-11 (.353) all-time record during the C-USA postseason extravaganza and advanced to the semifinals in two of the last three seasons.

    UH has posted a 3-4 (.429) all-time record in postseason tournaments at the FedExForum with appearances there in each of the last four years.

    The Cougars are 4-5 (.444) all-time when competing at Memphis during the C-USA Championship. In addition to their 3-4 (.429) record at the FedExForum, the Cougars also went 1-1 at The Pyramid during the 2000 Championship.


    POSTSEASON CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
    With their appearance at the 2009 Conference USA Championship, the Cougars will compete in their conference postseason event for the fifth consecutive season and the 32nd time in the last 33 seasons. Only an absence from the 2004 Championship prevents a much longer streak.

    During their history, the Cougars have posted a 34-27 (.557) all-time record during conference postseason tournaments. UH enters this week's C-USA Championship with a 6-11 (.353) record at that event.

    However, the Cougars finished with an impressive 28-16 (.636) all-time record in Southwest Conference Tournament play. In fact, the Cougars made nine appearances in the SWC Tournament championship game - including four straight from 1981 to 1984 - winning crowns in 1992, 1984, 1983, 1981 and 1978.


    NEXT GAME FOR HOUSTON
    If the Cougars win their first-round game against No. 12 seed SMU, they meet No. 4 seed UTEP at 8:30 p.m., Thursday, in the Championship quarterfinals.

    Another showdown with the Miners would set up the rubber match for the 2008-09 season with UTEP and UH each winning on the other's home court.

     

     

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