Houston Plays Host To Middle Tennessee State Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 30, 2007

Houston -

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The University of Houston men's basketball team will try to win their sixth straight game and improve its record to 7-1 when the Cougars play host to Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars enter the game coming off an 86-79 victory over Costal Carolina. Houston also beat Grambling State, Texas Southern, the College of Charleston and Marist.

Middle Tennessee enters the game with a 2-4 record after suffering an 85-62 loss at Belmont last Monday night. It was the second road loss of the season for the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee also suffered a 104-40 loss at Tennessee on Nov. 20. The Blue Raiders are coached by former Texas A&M head coach Kermit Davis.

Houston and Middle Tennessee will meet for the first time Saturday night. The Cougars have a 48-17 record against Sun Belt Conference teams.

Picked to tie UAB for second place in a poll of Conference USA coaches, Houston enters the Middle Tennessee game looking to Improve Its record to 5-0 In home games this season. The Cougars opened the season with a victory over Morehead State, and also have beaten Texas Southern, Grambling State and Coastal Carolina In home games this season. The Cougars have won seven straight home games dating back to last year.

The Cougars are led by preseason All-Conference USA selection Robert McKiver, who is averaging 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Senior forward Dion Dowell averages 13.3 points per game and Is the team's rebounding leader with 9.0 rebounds per game.

Senior point guard Lanny Smith leads the team in assists with 4.3 per game after handing out five assists In each of Houston's last two games against Grambling State and Coastal Carolina.

Freshman guard Brockeith Pane Is averaging 17.0 points per game and has scored In double figures In each of Houston's seven games this season. He scored a career-high 26 points against Grambling State. Pane also led the Cougars with 20 points against Texas Southern.

Brockeith Pane scored a career-high 26 points to lead Houston to a 95-53 victory over Grambling State on Nov. 24 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars got off to sluggish start in the first half as Grambling State led 30-29 after Andrew Prestley's three-point play. Houston closed the first half with a 16-5 run to end the half as Lanny Smith scored six of his eight points during that stretch to give the Cougars a 45-35 halftime lead. Houston also made 13 of their 15 free throws in the opening period.

Houston opened the second half in much the same manner as the Cougars ended the opening period as UH used another 12-4 run to open up a 57-39 lead. The Cougars never looked back as they played a near-perfect second half. Houston shot 62.5 percent (15-24) from the field and committing just one turnover in each period.

In addition to Pane's 26 points, Zamal Nixon scored a career-best 12 points, Tafari Toney tallied a season-high 11 points and Marcus Cousin netted a season-best 10 points.

Cougars Celebrate Armed Forces Night and Begin Toys for Tots Drive
The University of Houston will honor members of the Armed Forces and kick off its "Toys for Tots" campaign this Saturday night at the Middle Tennessee State game.

The Cougars are offering a special $5 ticket to any member of the Armed Forces with their military I.D. In addition, UH will salute all members of the military in attendance at the game.

Houston also will kick off its "Toys for Tots" campaign this Saturday. Fans are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game. The first 250 individuals who bring a toy will receive a free T-Shirt.



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