Thomas scores 24, leads Houston past Temple 89-79
PHILADELPHIA (AP) TaShawn Taylor scored 24 points and the Houston Cougars picked up a rare road win with an 89-79 victory over the Temple Owls Saturday night.
Houston (15-14, 7-9 American) picked up only its third road of win of the season.
Temple (7-21, 2-14), meanwhile, lost its fourth in a row and has dropped 16 of its last 18. The Owls’ 21st loss of the season is a new program record. Prior to this season, no team in the Temple history had ever lost more than 19 games.
Houston tied its season high for points in a game thanks to a blistering shooting performance. The Cougars made 35 of 52 attempts from the floor (61.5 percent) and 7 of 12 attempts from 3-point range (58.3 percent). Though it lost the turnover battle, 13-4, Houston dominated Temple inside, out-rebounding the Owls 36-23 outscoring them in the paint 42-28.
Temple was 7 for 25 from behind the arc.
Down four to start the second half, Temple scored 10 of the first 14 points coming out of the locker room to tie the game at 49 before Houston quickly rebounded with 12 of the next 14 to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Dalton Pepper led Temple with 24 points on 9 for 20 shooting, but scored 18 in the first half. He went over 16 minutes in the second without a basket before a layup with 3:43 to play. That basket would spark a Temple comeback attempt that cut Houston’s lead to as little as five with 1:16 to play, but the Owls would get no closer.
After missing three of Temple’s last four games with knee and toe injuries, Anthony Lee finished with eight points and six rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench.
Houston took a 43-39 lead into the half thanks in part to massive run after a poor start. The Cougars trailed 7-0 and by as much as nine, 17-8, before breaking out on a 23-4 run during which Temple went 6:35 without a field goal.
Danuel House added 13 points and nine rebounds in the win.
Will Cummings finished with 18 points and eight assists for the Owls.
Before the game, Temple held a moment of silence for its former athletic director, Dave O’Brien, who passed away earlier on Saturday. O’Brien spent seven years as Owls AD from 1996-2002.