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  • Writer's pictureHunter Metnick

No. 8 Houston continues streak with a win over Temple

(PHILADELPHIA, PA) Led by three double digit scorers, Houston shows why they should be top five in the nation with a 68-51 win over the Temple Owls.

Temple has struggled against the top two teams in the AAC, with their only four losses coming from SMU and Houston. The Owls top scorer so far this season, guard Damian Dunn was held to just five points on 1-10 from the field. Recently, when Dunn would get in a shooting slump, he would become more aggressive and attack the rim, and get easy shots at the charity stripe, but the Cougars did a great job containing that as well, as he only was 3-5 from the free throw line. Look for the redshirt freshman to bounce back against Tulsa next game.

Quentin Grimes, Houston guard has looked to be one of the nation's most improved players. Going from just 12 points per game during his sophomore season, to 17 points per game this season, he has been the Cougars main offensive player. His offensive talents were displayed today, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. Grimes, along with sophomore guard Marcus Sasser, have led this Houston offense to success. Promoting great ball movement, along with ball handling, this team is just an exciting team to watch.

In just his second game with the Owls, Khalif Battle played 33 minutes off the bench and ended up being Temple's second leading scorer with 14. Not shooting the ball efficiently (4-15), he showed sparks of being a go-to scorer for this defensive led team. Khalif, along with Brendan Barry, bring an offensive spark off the bench that Temple relies on.

Following his best game of the season, Jake Forrester continued his hot hand leading the Owls with 15 points and eight rebounds. Only shooting seven shots on the night, Jake drew lots of double teams in the second half. After the game, Coach McKie said that he was one of the only reasons that the Owls were able to stay in the game during the second half. The junior has been using his size and strength against smaller defenders, and he is looking to become one of the main guys on this offense.

For the Cougars, they showed their versatility on both sides of the court. Putting up 68 points on just under 50% shooting, along with having six steals and four blocks on the other end, Temple couldn’t find a rhythm today. Houston's ball movement was no match for Temple, a team that prides themselves on their defense.

The Owls had a very good second half, only getting outscored by Houston by two points. Unfortunately, being down by 15 at the half looked to be too much for Temple to overcome. Only shooting 25% from three, compared to the Cougars 45%, the Owls couldn’t get the looks they wanted and it showed in the first half.

After having a great start to the season, senior Brendan Barry has been held to just 14 points over the past three games. Teams are starting to guard him as if he was Stephen Curry, and he needs to look to be more of a facilitator, along with playing better defense when teams are staying glued to him within 30 feet. Hopefully Coach McKie can look to utilize him differently and get him the open threes he was getting in the first couple games of the season.

With Temple now having four games before playing Houston again, they can look to build on their 2-4 conference record against other non-ranked teams. Facing Tulsa Tuesday, January 26th at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, this will be a must win game for the young Owls if they want to stay competitive in the AAC.

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