UH ends skid, gets past Owls
UH finally broke its five-game losing streak with a solid 88-74 win against Temple in a collective effort.
Both teams had a balanced attack of scoring, but the Owls were unable to match the Cougars’ depth, which cost them the edge in the game.
Junior forward TaShawn Thomas led all scorers with 25 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Danuel House had 16 points, and senior guard Brandon Morris added 15 points on five 3-pointers.
UH found its stroke from downtown, converting on 11 3-pointers, and had four players scoring in double figures. Sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers led the charge off the bench, contributing 20 points, including five 3-pointers of his own.
“I feel like we can always play like this if we can share the ball,” Thomas said. “We have a lot of talented people on this team that can score, but the thing we have to focus on is defense.”
The Cougars had 22 team assists and were pleased with the unselfishness of this game, said head coach James Dickey.
Temple had five players score in double figures, which they needed since they only had six players to play more than 10 minutes.
UH came off a tough loss against defending national champion Louisville and was in need of a win to get out of its slump — having lost five straight and six of the last seven as it entered the game.
The Cougars continued to struggle to protect the ball in the first half, allowing 11 points off turnovers.
Early in the game, the Cougars’ defense was so solid, it was fighting itself for rebounds. The game got out of hand, but the Owls battled back in the second half to draw the deficit within five, and House’s dunk with 7:35 left in the game gave the Cougars the momentum they needed to pull away and secure the win.
“I went to the front of the bench, asking Coach to call a timeout because we weren’t ready. Then, out of nowhere, House dunked. Then I said, ‘Never mind — he’s got it,’” Stiggers said.
Temple head coach Fran Dunphy has led the Owls to seven straight NCAA tournament bids, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case this season. Temple has won only one of its last 10 games, and it is last in the conference, now with a 6-16 overall record and 1-9 in conference play.
The Cougars’ starting lineup changed again. They went to a bigger presence in the frontcourt with redshirt freshman Danrad Knowles, Thomas, House, Morris and sophomore L.J. Rose in the backcourt. The Cougars are now 12-12 overall and 4-7 in conference play.
“We have to keep pecking away,” Dickey said. “There are still some games out there that we have to go get.”