After thrilling win at Wichita State, Temple focuses on undefeated Houston

Matt Leon
January 07, 2019 - 4:25 pm
Jan 6, 2019; Wichita, KS, USA; Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10) reaches in for the ball against Wichita State Shockers forward Markis McDuffie (1) during the second half at Charles Koch Arena.

Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — While the Eagles were putting together their thrilling playoff win in Chicago on Sunday, the Temple Owls put together a thriller of their own out in Kansas. Temple found a way to beat the Wichita State Shockers 85-81 in overtime to improve to 11-3 on the season (1-1 AAC). Next up for Temple, their first home conference game as they welcome No. 11 Houston to the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night.

The Owls really earned that W at Wichita State as they trailed by as many as 15 points and by 11 points with just 3:35 remaining in regulation. But they scored the final 11 points of regulation to send the game to overtime tied at 74, and then the Owls outscored the Shockers 11-7 during the extra five minutes.

"Obviously, you need some good fortune," Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said of the comeback. "We made a couple big baskets, we caused a few turnovers and things just kind of went our way. It's one of those things you're hoping for but oftentimes does not happen. Everything fell our way late in the game and we're grateful for it."

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Shizz Alston Jr. was huge in the win for the Owls, the senior guard finishing with 22 points, including the final seven points of overtime.

"Having this on their resume is a good thing," Dunphy added about the win. "We talked about it before the game, that 11-3 is a lot different than 10-4. Every game is going to be just a battle for us as now we're facing an undefeated Houston team on Wednesday."

Houston is 15-0 (2-0 AAC) and coming off a 90-77 home conference win over Memphis. The Cougars are outscoring opponents by an average of more than 16 points per game this season.

"Their point guard, (senior) Galen Robinson, is a like a four-to-one guy, assist-to-turnover (83-to-27)," Dunphy said. "(Senior guard) Corey Davis can just make shots, (junior guard) Armoni Brooks can just make shots. They're athletic, they're well-coached, Kelvin Sampson does an unbelievable job at both ends of the court. They're very balanced, they can score it, but they really defend it as well. There's a reason why they're 15-0."

Davis leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game with Brooks right behind him, averaging 14.9 points a night.

Last season Houston swept a pair of games with Temple.

Wednesday night's game gets underway at 7:00 pm.

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You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the ranking of Houston.