Unranked Temple takes down No. 1 Houston in thrilling finish

 

Damian Dunn scored 16 points and made the go-ahead free throw, Kur Jongkuch blocked Houston’s go-ahead attempt in the final seconds and Temple held on to defeat the top-ranked Cougars 56-55 on Sunday.

Temple improved to 3-18 against No. 1 ranked teams. The Owls (12-9, 6-2 American Athletic Conference) earned their first win over a No. 1 ranked team since a 77-69 win at No. 1 Cincinnati on Feb. 20, 2000.

Tied at 55, Dunn made a free throw with 1:06 left to give Temple a one-point lead. Jamal Shead missed a 3-pointer and Nick Jourdain grabbed the rebound. Dunn missed a layup with 8 seconds left, and Jongkuch grabbed the rebound, but the Owls were whistled for a shot clock violation upon review.

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The Temple Owls celebrate after defeating the number one ranked Houston Cougars at Fertitta Center on January 22, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Trailing by one, Shead drove to the basket but Jongkuch blocked it out of the bounds with 1.3 seconds left. Tramon Mark’s tip-in attempt fell short at the buzzer to give the Owls the win.

Zach Hicks added 12 points for Temple, which snapped a six-game losing streak to Houston. The Owls shot 31% but were 20 of 22 from the free throw line.

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Shead scored 13 points, and Marcus Sasser added 12 points for Houston (18-2, 6-1), which saw its nine-game winning streak snapped.

Houston shot 34% but were 11 of 21 from the free throw line.

Jarace Walker #25 of the Houston Cougars and Tramon Mark #12 walk off the court after losing 56-55 top the Temple Owls at Fertitta Center on January 22, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Tied at 47, Temple used an 8-1 spurt to open up a 55-48 lead on two free throws by Jourdain with 6 1/2 minutes remaining. Houston responded with a 7-0 run to tie it at 55.

BIG PICTURE

Temple: The Owls improved to 2-0 this season against ranked opponents. … Temple did not make a field goal of the final 7:18 and were 5 of 21 from the field in the second half. … The Owls had 11 assists on 14 field goals.

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Houston: With the game tied at the half at 30 apiece, it marked the first time this season the Cougars have not led at the half. … Coach Kelvin Sampson was issued a technical foul in the second half for arguing a foul call. … Houston outrebounded Temple 39-33.

ASTROS IN THE HOUSE

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, third base coach Gary Pettis and closer Ryan Pressly sat courtside for the game.

Hysier Miller #3 of the Temple Owls dribbles the ball baseline around Jamal Shead #1 of the Houston Cougars at Fertitta Center on January 22, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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UP NEXT

Temple: Hosts South Florida on Wednesday.

Houston: At Central Florida on Wednesday.