(Updated: CORRECTED TO Will Cummings in 3rd graph ... Minor edits.)
Houston 88, Temple 74: TaShawn Thomas scored 25 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked six shots as the host Cougars snapped a five-game losing streak in American Athletic Conference play.
Jherrod Stiggers matched a career high with 20 points, including five 3-pointers, Danuel House finished with 16 points and Brandon Morris added 15 points on 5-of-8 3-point shooting to lead Houston (12-12, 4-7 AAC). Thomas, who connected on 10-of-12 shots, finished just one rebound shy of his 35th career double-double.
Dalton Pepper led Temple (6-16, 1-9), which had all five starters finish in double figures, with 17 points while Devontae Wilson had a career-high 11 points and 11 rebounds. Quenton DeCosey and Anthony Lee each chipped in with 14 points while Will Cummings added 12 points and six assists for the Owls, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
The Cougars took advantage of some cold shooting by the Owls, who missed 10 consecutive shots, to put together an early 14-0 run and take a 16-6 lead. Temple appeared to be on the verge of getting blown out after a 3-pointer by Morris extended Houston’s lead to 40-19, but the Owls got back in it with a 10-0 run over the final three minutes to close the gap to 40-29 at halftime.
Houston matched its biggest lead of the game, 59-38, after another Morris 3-pointer with 13:55 remaining. But Pepper then scored nine points to highlight a 21-5 run as Temple closed to within five, 64-59, before Morris nailed his fifth 3-pointer to trigger a game-clinching 24-10 spurt by the Cougars.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Thomas now has five 20-point games this season and 17 in his career. ... Led by Stiggers, Houston finished with a 22-6 edge in bench scoring. ... Temple outrebounded the Cougars, 40-30, including 16 offensive boards.