Coogs look to extend streak, face No. 25 Tech
by Adam BurnsDaily Cougar Staff
To hear `Houston Cougars' and `first place' in the same sentence has been a rarity during the past three years; the phrase `six-game winning streak' has also found little use in the UH sentence structure.
But the Cougars (8-6, 3-0 in the Southwest Conference) will place both on the line when they go to Lubbock Saturday to take on conference co-leader, No. 25 Texas Tech (13-1, 3-0) at 7 p.m. in Lubbock's Municipal Coliseum.
Prime Sports will carry the game live for Houston television.
"This game is really important because both of us are fighting for first place," said Cougars forward Tim Moore. "But in order for us to maintain our intensity, it's important that we don't get caught up in some of the hype of how big a game it will be."
Moore is coming off a 25-point 15-rebound game Wednesday, resulting in a 89-86 victory over Texas Christian.
Saturday's game will be the Cougars' third game of the season against a ranked opponent. Houston posted a 69-67 upset win over then-No. 3 Memphis Jan. 6. in Hofheinz Pavilion. The Cougars lost to then-No. 4 Arizona 73-69 Dec. 2, also at Hofheinz.
"We get up for ranked competition," Brooks said. "But we get up for a lot of teams whether they are ranked or not."
The clash in Lubbock, however, will be the first game against ranked competition on the road. The Red Raiders, after beating the Aggies last Saturday, have extended their home winning streak to 24 straight games, dating back to an 89-88 defeat to Texas A&M Feb. 5, 1994.
"Texas Tech has an excellent basketball team that does a great job rebounding (44.6 boards per game)," Brooks said. "We've got our work cut our for us."
The Red Raiders have been a nemesis to the Cougars over the past few years. Although Houston leads the all time series 27-22, Tech won both of last year's regular season meetings and has knocked the Cougars out of the last three SWC playoffs.
While Houston does have its work cut out for it, the two appear to be better matched this season. The Cougars are one win shy of matching last season's win total.
With the return of center/ forward Galen Robinson, Houston has at full strength for the last two games, with the exception of freshman back-up center Adrian Taylor, who was lost for the season Jan. 12 to injury.
Both teams are coming off of Wednesday victories: the Cougars with another nail biting 89-86 win against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs, while the Raiders capped a 75-69 win over Baylor.