Aubrey Coleman notched a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, to lead five Houston players in double-figure scoring as the Cougars defeated SMU 85-76 in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament on Wednesday night.
The victory for the fifth-seeded Cougars (20-10) moved them into Thursday's quarterfinals against No. 4 seed UTEP, which split the regular-season series with Houston.
Qa'rraan Calhoun added 18 points for the Cougars and Zamal Nixon scored 17. Kelvin Lewis and Marcus Cousin also added 14 points apiece.
SMU (9-21), the tournament's 12th seed, was led by Derek Williams with 18 points. Paul McCoy added 13 points, Robert Nyakundi finished with 11 and Mouhammad Faye had 10.
The Cougars opened the game on a 14-2 run, claiming a 41-30 halftime lead. The Mustangs trailed for the entire game.
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