Cougars knock off E. Carolina
UH guard Aubrey Coleman had another strong outing against East Carolina on Saturday.
His teammates did their part, too.
Four Cougars scored in double figures, led by Coleman with 25 points, as UH romped to a solid 74-55 win over the Pirates at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C.
The Cougars (10-7, 3-1 Conference USA) claimed their second consecutive win and third in the last four games. They finished the weekend in fifth place in C-USA.
Coleman, the nation’s leading scorer, made sure Saturday’s game was never in doubt. He shot 8-of-15 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw line, grabbing 11 rebounds to record his fourth double-double of the season and 18th of his career.
Coleman finished with 20-plus points for the fifth consecutive game. In the Cougars’ last five games, he averaged 24.4 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting just over 45 percent from the field.
Forward Maurice McNeil recorded his second consecutive double-double and fourth of the season with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Guard Kelvin Lewis added 13 points, and guard Zamal Nixon scored 10 in 25 minutes off the bench.
East Carolina (6-12, 0-4 C-USA) was led by reserve forward DaQuan Joyner, who scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. The Pirates shot only 31.7 percent en route to suffering their fourth consecutive loss and sixth in the last seven games.
UH’s defense made it difficult for East Carolina to operate. The Cougars recorded 13 steals and forced the Pirates into 18 turnovers, while committing only 11 turnovers.
The Cougars shot only 36.7 percent in the first half but took a 30-22 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Pirates found a rhythm at the start of the second half, pulling within 32-28 with 17:04 remaining. But their momentum died shortly after that.
McNeil and Coleman dropped in layups on back-to-back possessions to up the Cougars’ lead to 36-28 with 16:19 left. Nixon stole the ball on the ensuing possession and raced in the other direction for a layup to make it 38-28 with 15:37 left.
UH was hardly threatened after that.
The Cougars will return home to face Central Florida at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hofheinz Pavilion. After that, UH will hit the road to face Memphis at 7 p.m. Saturday.