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Volume 3, Issue 4                                    University of Houston

Men fall in first conference game; Hendrick hits highs

By Crystal J. Doucette
Breaking News Staff

 The Cougar menís basketball team faced the Memphis Tigers on Saturday in Hofheinz Pavilion in their first Conference USA game of the 2000-01 season. With a shorthanded Memphis roster -- eight able players traveled to Houston -- and a noted lack of flair from touted Tiger Kelly Wise, UH looked to leave behind a less than shining preconference season with a win to start off the New Year.

 Memphis players Earl Barron and Shyrone Chatman slammed the lid on that idea, leading the Tigers to victory, 86-78.

 "They had some guys really step up," head coach Ray McCallum said.

 Barron hit a near perfect 10-of-11 from inside the arc and four-of-six from the foul line as he put up 24 points in 23 minutes of play. Chatmanís defensive effort, 13 points and a solid 40 minutes of court time prevented the Cougars from closing in on the win.

 "It seemed every time we closed the gap, Memphis seemed to make the good plays," McCallum said.

 UH trailed Memphis by six at halftime. Freshman Alton Ford led both teams with nine points, followed by junior Dominic Smith with eight as the Cougars returned to the court. Houston faltered under the increased Tiger defensive effort and an offensive barrage from Barron as Ford picked up a tech in the second half.

 Cougar senior Chad Hendrick helped the team make a run from an 18-point deficit to pull within five with less than two minutes to play. Hendrick hit eight-of-11 shots (five-of-seven on three-point attempts), all in the second half. He matched his career highs with 21 points and five three-pointers, numbers he hasnít hit since his freshman year against Santa Clara in December 1997.

 "It was a great rally and our fans were very supportive," McCallum said. "(Hendrick) gave us a great effort."

 Sophomore George Williams and junior Patrick Okafor put in 13 points for the night. Smith hit 12 and Ford contributed 11.

The Cougars are now 3-10 overall and 0-1 in conference. They face Alabama-Birmingham in their second conference game tonight at 7 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion.

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