It's Deja Vu as UTEP, Houston Hook Up For Second Time in Six Days
March 12, 2008
Sixth seed UTEP (18-12, 8-8 C-USA) takes on third seed Houston (22-8, 11-5 C-USA) in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Conference USA Tournament on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. MST at the FedExForum in Memphis. The Miners advanced to the quarters by beating SMU, 71-49, on Wednesday. Houston had a first round bye in the tournament as one of the top four seeds and will be playing its first game on Thursday. UTEP squared its all-time C-USA Tournament record at 2-2 with Wednesday's win. The Miners are 1-0 all-time in the quarterfinals by virtue of their 66-47 triumph over Southern Miss two years ago.
UTEP and Houston are facing one another for the second time in six days. The Miners knocked off the Cougars at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday, 87-81. Earlier this season, Houston upended UTEP at Hofheinz Pavilion, 77-72.
UTEP leads the series 7-4. Both teams have taken charge on their home courts, with UTEP posting a 7-0 mark at the Don Haskins Center and Houston winning all four previous meetings at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Stefon Jackson has averaged 24.5 ppg, Tavaris Watts 15.0 ppg, Marvin Kilgore 14.5 ppg and Randy Culpepper 13.0 ppg against Houston this season. Jackson has also averaged 10.0 rpg versus the Cougars. UTEP has shot 47.9 percent from the field to Houston's 38 percent in the two games, and outrebounded the Cougars by an average of 6.5 boards per outing.
Houston has had a big advantage at the charity stripe (.780 free throw percentage to the Miners' .582). For Houston, Robert McKiver averaged 21.5 ppg with a .342 (13-for-38) field goal percentage, and Tafari Toney averaged 11 boards.
The Miners have outrebounded the Cougars in all six regular season meetings since joining C-USA and seven straight games overall.
The winner of Thursday's game will advance to the semifinals and meet either second seed UAB or seventh seed Tulsa on Friday.