PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/2/2016 – The Temple Owls, coming off a win against nationally ranked Cincinnati, looked to continue the momentum hosting the Houston Cougars. An explosion by the Cougars late in the first half set the Owls back on the way to a 77 – 50 win at the Liacouris Center. It was a game where the visitors outplayed the hosts in all aspects of the game.
“We didn’t do a very good job at anything,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy. “We did not play our best basketball. Give credit to Houston. We didn’t have the necessary goods to go today. We did nothing right.”
The game went in the direction of Houston (12 – 2 , 2 – 0) who led 20 – 16 with 8:24 to play. From that point the Cougars went on a 17 – 1 run getting fast breaks and hitting three-pointers while holding the Owls without a field goal for over seven minutes. The run was broken on a basket by Temple forward Devin Coleman. Houston guard Ronnie Johnson, a transfer from Purdue, scored 11 points in the run en route to 17 for the game. Junior College transfer Rob Gray, Jr. had 4 of his game-high 23 points in that stretch. Gray posted a game-best 6 assists.
“That was one of the turning points,” Dunphy said. “Our defense was not where we needed it to be.”
The visitors held a 40 – 21 halftime lead and would stretch that to as many as 30 points in the second half.
“They got a lot of easy opportunities,” said Temple forward Jaylen Bond who had 6 points and 6 rebounds. “We didn’t play a good defensive game. We have to improve a lot on defense.”
Houston was hot from the field making 31 of 57 shots, and went 7 of 15 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Temple shot 34.5% making 20 of 58, and just 3 of 23 from three-point land.
“Three for twenty-three is never good enough,” Dunphy said about the team shooting from distance. “I like the number, but not the percentage of three’s that went down.”
Quenton DeCosey and Obi Enechionyia led the Owls with 9 points each. DeCosey was the team leader in rebounds with 6.
The Cherry and White even their record at 6 – 6 and are even at one in the American. Temple travels to Connecticut for their next outing on Tuesday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian