Dec. 12, 2008
HOUSTON - In an effort to help University of Houston fans attend a Cougar men's basketball game on Dec. 30 and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth the next morning, UH director of athletics Dave Maggard announced Friday that the starting time for the men's basketball game against Massachusetts in Hofheinz Pavilion was changed to 1 p.m., Dec. 30.
With the Cougar Football team competing against Air Force at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the TCU campus in Fort Worth at 11 a.m., Dec. 31, Maggard and UMass administrators agreed to move the starting time earlier to accommodate fans that wished to attend both events.
Additionally, Maggard announced that the UMass men's basketball game will be Fan Appreciation Day with all fans being admitted free of charge. Seating will be available in all seats that have not been sold to season-ticket holders.
"We always try to have the best interests of our fans at heart," Maggard said. "With men's basketball off to such a great start and football making its fourth straight bowl appearance, we wanted to give our fans a chance to see both teams in action. Hopefully, this game time change and Fan Appreciation Day will help them during a busy and exciting time of year."
This is not the first time that Cougar administrators have adjusted basketball game times to assist fans. The Cougars' men's basketball game against North Texas on Nov. 29 was moved back an hour to help fans attend the regular-season football finale at Conference USA-rival Rice.
MEN'S BASKETBALL NOTES
Before facing UMass on Dec. 30, the Cougar men's basketball team (5-1) returns to action at 7 p.m., Saturday, when it plays host to Mississippi Valley State (0-10) inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
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.
Fans also can follow live stats from the game by clicking the GameTracker link on the basketball team's schedule page on UHCougars.com.
After dropping its season opener, the Cougar men's basketball team has reeled off five straight wins, including a 3-0 mark at Hofheinz Pavilion. Junior guard Kelvin Lewis leads the team with 18.2 points per game, while junior guard Aubrey Coleman poured in a UH season-high 24 points at Middle Tennessee on Dec. 2.
The Cougar Football program will be making its second bowl appearance in Fort Worth and the program's fifth bowl in the last six seasons. The Cougars posted a 7-5 record during the regular season and finished third in the competitive C-USA West Division.
Wrapping up his first season at UH, head coach Kevin Sumlin has tied the school record for wins by a first-year head coach and looks to lead the Cougars to their first bowl win since 1980.
Sophomore quarterback Case Keenum was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 4,768 yards and 43 touchdowns, while senior defensive end Phillip Hunt was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year after leading C-USA with 12 sacks and 16.5 tackles for a loss of 110 yards.
Freshman running back Bryce Beall was honored as the C-USA Freshman of the Year after posting 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns during his first collegiate season. The Tatum native became the first freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.