Scores

Final

Houston 80

(23-9, 11-5 C-USA)

Nevada 79

(21-12, 12-4 WAC)

    9:00 PM ET, March 18, 2008

    Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada

    1 2 T
    HOU 43 3780
    NEV 36 4379

    Top Performers

    Houston: D. Dowell 19 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast

    Nevada: M. Kemp 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Houston 80, Nevada 79

    Associated Press

    RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Robert McKiver scored 22 points and Marcus Cousin made the winning free throw with 26.5 seconds left to lead Houston past Nevada 80-79 Tuesday night in the opening round of the inaugural College Basketball Invitational.

    Dion Dowell added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cougars, whose 23-9 record is their best since the 1991-92 season. They advance to the second round March 24 against the winner of Wednesday's game between Washington and Valparaiso.

    Armon Johnson missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for Nevada, which had trailed by as much as 10 points the second half and closed its sixth consecutive year of postseason play at 21-12. Marcelus Kemp led Nevada with 24 points. Johnson had 16 and Brandon Fields 15.

    Tied at 71, Dowell followed a pair of free throws with a tip-in to put Houston ahead 75-71 with 3:10 left. The Cougars went up 79-75 on Kelvin Lewis' floater in the lane at 1:50.

    JaVale McGee, who scored Nevada's first 6 points of the game on three slam dunks but fouled out with 12 points total, scored inside but missed the free throw when he was fouled at 1:33. After McKiver missed a 3-pointer, Kemp scored inside to make it 79-79 with 58 seconds left.

    Houston led 43-36 at the half on Tafari Toney's 35-footer at the halftime buzzer.

    The Cougars took their biggest lead, 50-40, on Lewis' 3-pointer with 17:44 remaining. But Nevada answered with a 20-5 run to take a 60-55 lead on Kemp's 10 footer at 10:55. That run included a 10-0 stretch started by DeMarshay Johnson's slam dunk off a behind-the-back pass from McGee in the lane.

    McKiver's two free throws and 3-pointer pulled Houston to within 61-60 at 9:26, and Lewis' basket off a rebound tied it at 71 with 4:31 left.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    HOU
    NEV
    Points 80 79
    FG Made-Attempted 23-61 (.377) 31-66 (.470)
    3P Made-Attempted 14-35 (.400) 7-18 (.389)
    FT Made-Attempted 20-24 (.833) 10-14 (.714)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 7 5

    Series

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Mar 18, 2008 HOU 80, @NEV 79Recap