Thomas, Houston roll past Temple 88-74
Thomas finished 10 of 12 shooting and had six blocks as the Cougars (12-12, 4-7 American) shot 54 percent for the game, including 11 of 24 from behind the arc.
Jherrod Stiggers added 20 points off the bench, Danuel House chipped in 16 and Brandon Morris had 15. Both Stiggers and Morris hit five 3-pointers.
Temple, which lost its third straight and 11th in 12 games, shot 50 percent in the second half in cutting Houston's lead from 21 down to five with 8:27 remaining, but the Cougars responded with a 12-4 spurt to open the lead back to 15 at 82-67 on a Thomas layup with 2:41 left.
Trailing 62-42 with 12:20 remaining, the Owls cut the lead to 64-59 as Lee capped the 17-2 run with a jumper with 8:27 left. Pepper had seven in the run for Temple.
Houston responded with its run led by Stiggers and Thomas, who each had six points in the surge.
Houston used a 22-2 run over a seven-minute stretch of the first half to turn a four-point deficit into a 16-point lead. Stiggers had nine points to lead the run for the Cougars, capping it off with a 3-pointer with 9:33 remaining in the first half. Thomas also had six points in the spurt.
The Cougars lead grew to as large as 21 in the first half at 40-19 on a Morris 3-pointer with 3:27 left in the first half, but the Owls ended the half on a 10-0 run capped by consecutive layups by Watson to cut Houston's lead to 40-29 at the half.
Houston shot nearly 52 percent in the first half, including hitting 5 of 11 from behind the arc.