Men's Basketball Returns to Action vs. Mississippi Valley State on Saturday in Hofheinz Pavilion

Dec. 12, 2008

Dec. 13, 2008 • 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: Live Stats at UHCougars.com
GAME NOTES: Houston Notes vs. Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 13, 2008) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Conference USA Notebook (Dec. 12, 2008) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

HOUSTON - - After an 11-day break, the University of Houston men's basketball team returns to action at 7 p.m., Saturday when it plays host to Mississippi Valley State inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars come into this weekend's game after a 70-67 win at Sun Belt Conference member Middle Tennessee on Dec 2 in the team's first road contest of the season. After taking a break from competition to focus on fall-semester final examinations, the Cougars will play the first of three home games during the month of December.

With that win, the Cougars won their fifth straight game and pushed their season record to 5-1. The Cougars also moved into the latest Associated Press top-25 poll after receiving a vote.

Junior guard Kelvin Lewis leads the Cougars with 18.2 points per game and has scored at least 20 points in each of the last three games, a first during his career. Junior guard Aubrey Coleman posted a season-high 24 points in the win at Middle Tennessee but also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds while posting a career-high six steals - all in the second half - on the defensive side against the Blue Raiders.

Senior center Marcus Cousin ranks third on the team with 13.8 points per game but leads the Cougars with 9.7 rebounds per game. The Baltimore native is one of only five players to rank among Conference USA's top-15 individual leaders in both categories.

Freshman point guard Desmond Wade tops the team with 6.0 assists per game to rank second in the league and fifth in the nation. The Linden, N.J., native has turned the ball over only eight times the entire season, ranking fifth in the country with an assist:turnover ratio of 4.5:1.

Wade is the leader of a consistent ball-handling effort by the Cougars this season. With only 8.7 turnovers per game, the Cougars have the nation's lowest total in that category, nearly 1.5 giveaways less than their closest competitor.

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.

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

Saturday's game marks only the second time that the Cougars have faced Mississippi Valley State on the hardwood. The Cougars own a 1-0 lead in the series after enjoying a 78-69 win over the Delta Devils on Dec. 5, 1986, during the Kactus Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

Mississippi Valley State comes into this weekend's game after an 88-65 loss at Kentucky on Dec. 7. That loss was the Delta Devils' 10th straight defeat to open the 2008-09 season.

Junior guard/forward Shannon Behling leads the team with 14.4 points per game and is second on the squad with 4.9 boards per contest. Senior forward Eric Petty is tops with 7.1 rebounds per game, while senior guard Dwayne Harmason paces the team with 3.2 assists per game.

Head coach Sean Woods is in his first year with the program after serving as director of operations and assistant coach at TCU.



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