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58


Houston (9-5) at South Florida (9-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 4 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Dome (10,000) -- Tampa, Florida. Television: CBS Sports Network. Home Record: Houston 7-1, South Florida 6-3. Away Record: Houston 1-2, South Florida 3-0. Neutral Record: Houston 1-2, South Florida 0-2. Conference Record: Houston 1-0, South Florida 0-1. Series Record: South Florida 10-9.

GAME NOTES: After shocking No. 17 UConn in an upset win Tuesday, Houston looks to keep the winning trend rolling, as the Cougars travel to face the South Florida Bulls Saturday in American Athletic Conference action.

Houston defeated UConn, 75-71, at home to improve to 9-5 on the season, gaining its first American Athletic Conference win in the process. The Cougars have won two straight and three of their last four.

South Florida is experiencing the opposite of Houston, as the Bulls are coming off an 88-73 loss to Memphis in AAC play, and have lost three of their last four games. Twice this season the Bulls have put together four-game winning streaks, and they'll look to start another.

South Florida holds a slim 10-9 advantage in the all-time series with Houston. This is the first meeting between the two programs since March of 2005.

A couple of late free throws for Houston and a blocked layup on UConn point guard Shabazz Napier helped the Cougars ice the upset win at home Tuesday. TaShawn Thomas scored a team-high 23 points against the Huskies on 80of-15 shooting from the floor. Thomas added eight rebounds and two assists in the win. Jherrod Stiggers contributed 17 points for the Cougars on 5-of-8 shooting, and grabbed three rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Danrad Knowles rounded out the Houston double-digit scorers adding 13 points and nine rebounds to the cause.

Thomas leads the team in scoring this season with 17.8 ppg, and is also tops on the roster with 9.2 rpg. He's the team leader in blocks with 49 (next closest on the team has 15) and in steals with 19. Danuel House is second on the team in scoring with a 15.6 ppg average, although he has only played in seven games compared to the 14 in which Thomas has competed. Both Stiggers and L.J. Rose are averaging 10.1 ppg this season for the Cougars.

The New Year's Eve game against Memphis was the inaugural AAC clash for South Florida. Freshman center John Egbunu paced the Bulls in multiple categories, recording 20 points and 14 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Egbunu was 7-of-11 from the floor and hit 6 of his 8 free-throw attempts in the contest. Victor Rudd scored 11 of his 17 total points from the charity stripe in the game, and added eight rebounds and three assists to his stat line. Corey Allen Jr. (15) and Martino Brock (13) rounded out the double- digit scorers for the Bulls.

Rudd leads the Bull with 16.2 ppg and also paces the team with a 7.2 rpg average. Allen is second on the team this season with a 12.6 ppg average, and is second on the team with 46 total assists. He leads the Bulls team with 24 steals this season. The freshman Egbunu has a team-best 64.1 percent shooting mark, and averages 6.7 rpg. As a team, the Bulls are shooting 45.4 percent from the floor.

These two teams have identical records entering this contest, but Houston is on a high right now after the UConn win. Led by Thomas and Stiggers, the Cougars could easily go on the road and take this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 81, South Florida 74

01/04 10:32:26 ET