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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Men's Basketball

High-scoring Temple trio will threaten Houston’s winning streak

Houston’s defense will need to be on its A-game to stop Temple’s high-scoring offense from breaking UH’s 30-game home winning streak. | Ahmed Gul/The Daily Cougar

The No. 13/13 Cougars will be looking for revenge Thursday night when the Owls come to town to try to repeat their 73-69 victory earlier this month — Houston’s sole loss of the season.

Nov. 10 was an off night on multiple fronts as the defense allowed far more points than normal and its main scorers were unable to get going.

Junior guard Armoni Brooks scored just five points compared to his usual 14.8, and senior guard Corey Davis Jr. was below his season average as well.

Senior Breaon Brady’s 19-point performance was almost enough for the Cougars to come back, but a charge call ended the team’s hopes in the game-tying score.

Key pieces

The Cougars own the No. 3 spot in scoring offense in the American Athletic Conference, while the Owls are No. 4.

Temple has a 15-1 overall record in large part because of its offense. Temple senior Shizz Alston Jr. is No. 3 in the conference in points per game while junior Quinton Rose is No. 7 and sophomore Nate Pierre-Louis is No. 16.

The main trio scored 52 of Temple’s 73 points in the win against Houston, while Houston’s starting guards made just 23 points.

Brooks and Davis are No. 12 and No. 14 in points per game, respectively, but there are multiple players like Brady, freshman Nate Hinton and redshirt freshman Cedrick Alley Jr. that have had double-digit scoring performances this season when the main two are having bad nights.

Both teams have great off-the-ball players like senior Galen Robinson Jr. for UH and Alston Jr. for Temple. The players are in the top three assists leaders in the AAC and have averaged over five per game each.

Key differences

As is the case against most teams, Houston separates itself from Temple on the defensive side of the ball.

Houston is No. 1 in the AAC and has allowed just 60 points per game, and Temple is down at No. 7 and has been giving up 71 points per game.

Field goal percent difference is also night and day between the teams. Houston is first in the conference and has allowed just 36 percent accuracy from the field, while Temple is last in the AAC and has let teams make 45 percent of shots.

Rebounding is the same with the Cougars sitting at No. 4 in defensive rebounds and No. 1 in offensive rebounds while the Owls are No. 10 and No. 12  in those categories.

Last time the two teams met, Houston’s defense did not play up to its standards, but in front of the home crowd UH has been a different kind of beast that Temple may not be ready for.

The two teams play at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Fertitta Center.

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