Jan. 16, 2009
A full slate of Conference USA match-ups are on tap for Saturday, including the first match of the season between Memphis and UAB. The Tigers host UAB for a 7 p.m. CST tip that will be televised on CBS College Sports. Memphis is riding a 45-game win streak against conference foes, but the Blazers were the last team to defeat them. All the C-USA action begins at 4 p.m. EST/3 p.m. CST when Rice hosts UCF. An hour later, Houston tips off at Southern Miss. East Carolina hosts UTEP, Marshall is at Tulsa and Tulane is at SMU. All three begin at 7 p.m. local time.
* All five Houston starters scored in double figures as the Cougars picked up a 94-86 road win at UTEP on Wednesday night.
* Houston junior G Kelvin Lewis scored a career-high 29 points, including a 17-of-18 performance from the free throw line, and classmate Aubrey Coleman registered his fifth double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
* The 17 free throws by Lewis on Wednesday night set a Don Haskins Center-record for most free throws by an opponent.
* UTEP senior G Stefon Jackson scored a team-high 27 points, giving him 1,925 points for his career. The performance moved him into fourth place on the C-USA career scoring chart and he needs just 20 points to tie for third place with Louisville's Reece Gaines.
* UTEP junior C Kareem Cooper scored a career-high 21 points against the Cougars.
* Southern Miss hit seven free throws in the last 36 seconds to hold off Tulane, 61-54, Wednesday night at Fogelman Arena. Junior G Jeremy Wise led the Golden Eagles with 20 points, including 16 in the second half.
* Tulane sophomore G Kris Richard chalked up a career-high 21 points and junior F Asim McQueen chipped in his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Southern Miss.
* Rice junior G Lawrence Ghoram tied a season-high with 17 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the Owls' 69-57 win against SMU.
* The Mustangs were led by junior G Derek Williams with 14 points.
* Senior G/F Markel Humphrey was named the Marshall MVP in the Capital Classic with 13 points and eight rebounds, but the Herd dropped an 87-76 decision to in-state rival West Virginia.
* Memphis extended its Conference USA winning streak to 45 games, but it literally came down to the last second on a layup from senior G Antonio Anderson to give the Tigers a 55-54 road win at Tulsa on Tuesday.
* Freshman G Tyreke Evans led the Tigers with a game-high 23 points.
* Tulsa junior C Jerome Jordan registered his sixth double-double of the season and 13th of his career with 20 points and 13 rebounds. He also added three assists and four blocks.
* TU outrebounded Memphis, 43-25.
* UAB used a 17-0 run to end the game and post a 60-52 victory against visiting UCF. The Blazers improved a 6-0 on their home court this season. The senior trio of Robert Vaden, Paul Delaney III and Lawrence Kinnard combined for 49 of the Blazers' 60 points.
* UCF senior G Jermaine Taylor scored a team-high 18 points against UAB. He is averaging more than 28 ppg in the Knights' last six contests.
* Seniors James Legan and Sam Hinnant combined for 30 of the Pirates' 64 points against Marshall on Jan. 10. ECU posted 17 assists on its 22 field goals as sophomore G Brock Young, the nation's top playmaker, dished out a game-high seven assists.
EAST CAROLINA (9-6, 1-1 C-USA)
Despite a team-high 16 points from senior G James Legan and 14 points from classmate Sam Hinnant, East Carolina dropped a 72-64 decision on the road at Marshall on Jan. 10. The two clubs played to a 33-33 tie at halftime. ECU came out of the break on fire, using a pair of sophomore G Jamar Abrams' 3-pointers to grab its biggest lead of the game at eight points 2:30 into the second stanza. Sophomore G Brock Young, the nation's leader in assists (7.8 apg), threw a no-look pass to freshman F Darrius Morrow and followed with a highlight-reel alley-oop dish to Abrams to take another eight-point edge, but it was not enough. ECU posted 17 assists on its 22 field goals as Young dished out a game-high seven assists while chipping in six points. The Pirates have the week off and will host UTEP for a 7 p.m. EST contest on Saturday.
HOUSTON (11-3, 2-0 C-USA)
Junior G Kelvin Lewis scored a career-high 29 points, while junior G Aubrey Coleman recorded his team-best fifth double-double to help lead Houston to a 94-86 win at UTEP Tuesday. Lewis, who finished 17-of-18 from the free throw line, was part of a solid team effort by the Cougars from the charity stripe. UH connected on 34-of-41 free throws in the game, including 25-of-31 in the second half alone. After a miss at the 9:55 mark, the Cougars hit their next 22 free throw attempts. The 17 free throws by Lewis set a Don Haskins Center-record for most free throws by an opponent. All five Cougar starters scored in double digits. Coleman scored 24 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and added a career-high six assists, while junior F Qa'rraan Calhoun posted 15 points with a pair of treys. Freshman G Desmond Wade added 12 points, while senior C Marcus Cousin posted 10 points. It was the Cougars' first victory in El Paso, snapping a seven-game road losing streak to the Miners. It was the first time that either team won on their opponent's home court. The Cougars return to action Saturday at Southern Miss. Tip-off is 4 p.m. CT.
MARSHALL (8-8, 1-1 C-USA)
Freshman G Shaquille Johnson led Marshall with 15 points, but West Virginia jumped out to an 11-point, first-half lead to hand Marshall an 87-76 loss in Wednesday's Capital Classic at the Charleston Civic Center. Senior G/F Markel Humphrey was named the Herd's Most Valuable Player, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds. Freshman G Damier Pitts scored 11 points and recorded four assists. Marshall will return to Conference USA action Saturday as it travels to Tulsa for an 8:05 p.m. EST tip with the Golden Hurricane.
MEMPHIS (13-3, 3-0 C-USA)
Senior G Antonio Anderson made a driving basket at the buzzer to lift Memphis to a 55-54 victory over host Tulsa Tuesday. It was only the second bucket for Anderson on the night as he finished with five points. Freshman G Tyreke Evans led the Tigers with a game-high 23 points. It was the seventh straight win for Memphis this season and its 45th straight victory against conference opponents, dating back to 2006. The Tigers will host UAB on Saturday at 7 p.m. CST in a game that will be televised on CBS College Sports.
RICE (6-10, 1-1 C-USA)
Junior G Lawrence Ghoram equaled a season-high, scoring 17 points and grabbing a game-high eight rebounds as Rice defeated SMU, 69-57, Wednesday. The victory snapped the Owls' 19-game Conference USA losing streak, which dated back to 2007. Rice jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, and led by as many as 18 points in the first half, then enjoyed a 37-22 halftime lead. Ghoram also tied his career-high with four assists and had two steals. He was 6-of-14 from the field and knocked down three of his four three-point attempts. Sophomore C Trey Stanton added 12 points and five boards. Freshman G Connor Frizzelle came off the bench to score in double figures for the first time since mid-December, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds. The Owls stay home to host UCF on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.
SMU (5-9, 0-2 C-USA)
Junior G Derek Williams led SMU with 14 points, but the Mustangs dropped a 69-57 decision to host Rice on Wednesday night. Junior F Mouhammad Faye added nine points and freshman G Paul McCoy grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Rice opened with a 7-0 run as SMU missed its first 14 shots. The Owls led 37-22 at the half, but SMU used a 14-0 run to close the gap to 39-36. SMU is back home to welcome Tulane for a 7 p.m. CT contest at Moody Coliseum. The game will be televised locally on Metro Sports.
SOUTHERN MISS (10-5, 1-1 C-USA)
Southern Miss hit seven free throws in the last 36 seconds to hold off Tulane, 61-54, Wednesday night at Fogelman Arena. Junior G Jeremy Wise led the Golden Eagles with 20 points, including 16 in the second half. Wise also grabbed seven rebounds. Senior G Courtney Beasley and sophomore G R.L. Horton each added 12 points. Southern Miss came out strong, scoring 10 of the game's first 12 points, capped by a Wise 3-pointer from the top of the key. The Golden Eagles return to action this Saturday when they host Houston at 4 p.m. CT in Reed Green Coliseum.
TULANE (7-9, 1-2 C-USA)
Sophomore G Kris Richard chalked up a career-high 21 points and junior F Asim McQueen chipped in his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, but Tulane dropped a 61-54 decision to Southern Miss Wednesday at Fogelman Arena. Tulane erased an 11-point deficit in the second half with a 9-2 run and held the Golden Eagles scoreless from the field for the final 5:25. Along with his 21 points, Richard swiped a career-hightying five steals, while junior G Kevin Sims dished out five assists. Tulane is on the road for a 7 p.m. CT contest at SMU on Saturday night.
TULSA (11-6, 1-1 C-USA)
Junior C Jerome Jordan registered his sixth double-double of the season and 13th of his career, but the Golden Hurricane dropped a 55-54 decision to Memphis on a last-second shot Tuesday. Jordan finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. Junior G Ben Uzoh added 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Uzoh also hit two free throws to give Tulsa its first lead of the game with 4.5 seconds to play. TU outrebounded Memphis, 43-25, but was hurt by 22 turnovers, compared to just 11 for the Tigers. Tulsa remains at home and will welcome Marshall for a 7:05 p.m. CT contest on Saturday.
UAB (10-6, 1-1 C-USA)
Senior G Robert Vaden scored a game-high 19 points and the Blazers ended the contest on a 17-0 run for a 60-52 comeback win over UCF on Tuesday. It was UAB's first Conference USA victory of the season. Senior G Paul Delaney III added 16 points and seven rebounds, while classmate Lawrence Kinnard notched a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 14 rebounds for the Blazers. It marked his league-leading seventh double-double of the season and 14th of his career. The Knights held a 52-43 advantage after a pair of free throws with 3:32 left, but that was the last UCF points of the night as UAB went on a 17-0 run the rest of the way. Vaden and Kinnard hit five free throws apiece during the spurt. UAB will travel to Memphis to take on the Tigers on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. UAB was the last C-USA team to defeat Memphis, who enters the contest on a 45-game win streak in league play. Saturday's game will be nationally-televised on CBS College Sports. The Blazers defeated Memphis, 80-74, on March 2, 2006.
UCF (10-6, 0-2 C-USA)
Senior G Jermaine Taylor paced UCF with 18 points, but UAB rallied for a 60-52 win over the Knights Tuesday at Bartow Arena. UCF led by 10 with 10:35 remaining in the game after Taylor hit a pair of free throws. After that, UCF scored just seven points the rest of the way. UCF shot 46.4 percent overall in the opening half and limited the Blazers to a 28.1 percent showing from the floor. The contest served as UCF's first C-USA road game of the year. Taylor was the lone UCF player who ended the game with double-digits in scoring. Senior C Kenrick Zondervan totaled a team-high nine rebounds for the Knights. UCF shot 43.8 percent overall for the game, but made just 4-of-18 (.222) from deep. The Knights will return to action Saturday at Rice for a 4 p.m. ET tip. The next game at the UCF Arena is slated for Wednesday, Jan. 21 against Southern Miss.
UTEP (10-6, 1-1 C-USA)
The Miners couldn't pull themselves out of a 14-point deficit with 7:17 remaining and, although they came close, Houston pulled away to beat UTEP, 94-86, on Wednesday at the Don Haskins Center. UTEP cut its deficit to three with 4:51 remaining but couldn't get the necessary defensive stops down the stretch to earn the win. Senior G Stefon Jackson led UTEP with 27 points and seven rebounds, while junior C Kareem Cooper scored a career-high 21 points. Sophomore G Randy Culpepper chipped in with 16 points off the bench and senior F Tavaris Watts added eight points. Jackson passed Memphis' Rodney Carney and moved into fourth place on the all-time C-USA scoring list with 1,925 points. He needs just 20 points to tie for third place on the C-USA scoring chart. The Miners departed El Paso on Thursday morning for a two-game road trip. UTEP will play at East Carolina on Saturday at 5 p.m. MST, and at UAB on Wednesday at 6 p.m.