Everything's bigger in Texas, including it seems the losses. Temple got thumped by SMU and former…
Down by as many as 21 points, the Owls cut the deficit to five with just over eight minutes to play, but failed to pick up shooters and struggled in transition defense as the Cougars had an answer for every Temple run.
Jherrod Stiggers came off the bench and scored 20 points for Houston, shooting 7-for-12 overall and 5-of-9 on threes – many coming down the stretch as the Owls unsuccessfully tried to rally. TaShawn Thomas led the Cougars with 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting.
Overall, the Cougars shot 54 percent and 45.8 percent on threes, while dishing out 22 assists with just nine turnovers. It was the second loss on the Owls' two-game Texas swing, which started with a lopsided defeat to SMU on Thursday.
"Obviously we're still not good enough defensively," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "We got it back to seven and lost Stiggers a time or two, (Brandon) Morris made some shots, Thomas was a load. I like some things we're doing, but we're not good enough defensively.
"(The comeback) was a positive, but we need to not be as far behind. We need to be better without the basketball. For the most part our effort is decent, but we need to be better covering space and not giving up dribble penetration."
Watson was a bright spot for Temple with 11 points and 11 rebounds in just 19 minutes. Dalton Pepper led the Owls with 17 points and Will Cummings added 12 points, six assists and two steals.
"(Watson's) game isn't necessarily pull-up jump shots, but he competed," said Dunphy. "He was trying to guard Thomas and had 11 points and 11 rebounds. … I was happy for him."
Temple shot 44.8 percent but was just 3-of-13 on three-pointers. The Owls fell to 6-16 overall and 1-9 in the American Athletic Conference, while Houston is 12-12, 4-7.
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