PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/8/2020 – Going into the game the Temple Owls knew that rebounding with the Houston Cougars would be a challenge and could decide the outcome. It did as Houston had a 54 – 32 rebounding edge, 23 – 8 on the offensive end, and took home a 78 – 74 win over Temple.
“I thought it was the difference in the game,” said Temple Coach Aaron McKie. “When you give up nineteen second chance points it’s kind of hard.”
The Cougars lead the American and rank second in the nation in rebounding margin. They came into the game at a plus-11 and added to that total. Off the offensive glass Houston was able to garner 19 second chance points, and allowed them to take 11 more shots at the basket. In a four-point game the disparity is critical.
Nate Hinton ranks among the conference leaders in getting boards both offensive and defensive. He had a game-high 13 rebounds, 4 offensive to go along with 10 points. Hinton is a guard. Center Chris Harris pulled down 12 caroms tying his career-best, 5 on the offensive side.
Nate Pierre-Louis led Temple with 7 rebounds.
Still, the Owls stayed in contention with the Cougars. It was expected to be a tough game and lived up to its billing. Houston had the early lead behind the board work and three-point shooting. The Cougars took a 39 – 27 lead at halftime.
The Cherry and White staged its comeback getting the lead back at 58 – 56 on a basket by Monty Scott. The last lead for Temple was 60 – 59 on a jumper by Jake Forrester with just over 7 minutes to play.
“We started rebounding a lot,” said Pierre-Louis. “And we started getting to the foul line and that was one of our goals.”
Houston answered with an 11 – 2 run to take control of the game.
At the line the Cherry and White converted 16 of 21 while the Cougars were 10 of 19.
Caleb Mills scored a game-high 23 points tying his collegiate best. Harris recorded his first double-double of the year getting 11 points and 10 boards. DeJon Jarreau also scored 11 points.
“All five if their guys can score and get offensive rebounds,” said Temple guard Quinton Rose. “You’ve got to pay attention to all of them.”
Rose lead the Owls in scoring with 21 points making 5 of 10 from the floor, 2 of 3 from deep, and 9 of 11 from the line. He was hampered with foul trouble and wound up with 5. Pierre-Louis added 13 points. J.P. Moorman II broke double-digits with 10 markers.
Temple falls to 9 – 5 overall and 1 – 2 in the American. Houston is 12 – 3 and are 2 – 0 in conference. The Owls continue their three-game homestand on Saturday when they host Tulane.
Written By: Glenn Papazian