Houston (13-7) at SMU (12-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (8,300) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: Time Warner Cable Sports. Home Record: Houston 10-3, SMU 6-3. Away Record: Houston 3-4, SMU 4-5. Neutral Record: Houston 0-0, SMU 2-2. Conference Record: Houston 2-5, SMU 2-5. Series Record: Houston leads, 45-25.
GAME NOTES: On Saturday, a Conference USA matchup between the Houston Cougars and SMU Mustangs will make for a competitive, in-state battle at the Moody Coliseum.
Houston was most recently upset by a struggling Rice team, 79-69. It was the fifth loss in the past six games for the Cougars, who had previously won seven in a row. The loss also dropped Houston to a mere 2-5 in conference play, just a half game out of the league cellar.
The Mustangs are fresh off a 68-57 win over Marshall which broke a three-game losing streak. SMU is just 2-6 in its last eight games but after the recent win that ended a three-game road trip, the squad is headed back home to Moody Coliseum for two games. SMU is also just 2-5 in-conference.
The Cougars lead the all-time series 45-25 and won the last matchup 78-67 back on Jan. 9 at the Hofheinz Pavilion. It was the second win in a row against the Mustangs. Houston is 16-12 against SMU when playing away in Dallas.
TaShawn Thomas was impressive against Rice, putting together a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds while dishing out a game-high five assists. Thomas did not miss from the field, going 6-of-6. Joseph Young led the team in scoring with 17 points, while J.J. Richardson added 13 points off the bench from 5-of-6 shooting. Thomas is averaging a double-double on the season with 15.8 ppg and 10.0 rpg. He shoots 52.0 percent from the field and plays the most minutes on the team (32.3) while also being the only player on the team to start all 20 games. Young leads the team in scoring 16.8 ppg while Danuel House adds 13.0 ppg. The squad scores 76.5 ppg and shoots over 45.0 percent from the floor. Their strong offense is what has bailed them out in most games, as they allow opponents to score 70.3 ppg.
In the win over Marshall, Jalen Jones led all scorers with 19 points while also pulling down eight rebounds. Ryan Manuel added 17 points while Nick Russell managed 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, although he did have five turnovers. Jones is the Mustangs' top scorer and top rebounder, averaging 15.1 ppg and 8.1 rpg, shooting just under 50.0 percent from the field. Russell is the second highest scorer with 13.8 ppg, playing over 36 minutes a game. Manuel is also averaging in double-figure scoring with 12.0 ppg. The defensive end is where the Mustangs shine, holding opposing teams to 61.4 ppg and under 40.0 percent shooting from the field.
This matchup will be between a great offense and a great defense. Whichever team can find ways to rise above their shortcomings will be the team that comes out victorious.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: Houston 72, SMU 68
02/02 10:54:26 ET