HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball will travel to El Paso, Texas and meet Southeast Missouri State University in the first round of the Sierra Providence SunClassic on December 27 at 10pm. The Cougars enter the game with a 2-7 overall record, while Southeast Missouri State has a 7-3 mark this season.
Houston will be looking for its first win in six games after the Cougars suffered a 71-68 loss against crosstown rival Texas Southern on December 23. Southeast Missouri State is 6-3 this season.
Houston in the SunClassic
This marks the third time that Houston has played in the Sierra Providence SunClassic. The Cougars finished third in the 1972 and 1979 tournaments.
UH suffered a 75-72 loss against Indiana and won a 115-102 decision over SMU in 1972. The Cougars suffered a 78-65 loss versus UTEP in the first round of the 1979 tournament and beat Alabama, 83-75, in the consolation game in 1979.
Last Time Out
It was a tale of two halves when Houston suffered a 71-68 loss against crosstown rival Texas Southern on December 23.
After leading 39-29 at halftime, the Cougars made just five of their 19 field goal attempts in the second half. Houston did make 34 of 45 free throws in the game, including 19 of 26 in the second half.
George Williams and Dominic Smith led the Cougars with 18 points each.
TSU led 69-68 with six second left when Rakim Hollis made both of his free throws. The Cougars had one last chance, but Smith missed a three-point attempts from the top of the key.
Ray McCallum is in his first season as the head coach at the University of Houston and enters the Southeast Missouri State game with a 128-83 career record. McCallum, who is in his eighth season as a collegiate head coach, came to Houston after compiling a 126-76 mark in seven seasons at Ball State.
His .624 winning percentage at Ball State ranked as the fourth-best overall percentage in the history of the Mid-America Conference. He also was the only coach in Ball State history to lead the Cardinals to seven straight winning seasons and his 126 victories ranked second on the school's all-time victories list.
He led the Cardinals to two MAC Tournament championships (1995 and 2000) and two first place ties in the MAC's Western Division (1995 and 1998). McCallum guided Ball State to two NCAA Tournament berths (1995 and 2000) and one NIT appearance (1998).
Next Home Game
Houston will return home on New Year's Eve when the Cougars play host to the Georgetown Hoyas in a non-conference game at 2:00 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion. The UH ticket office will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. from December 26 thru December 29.