Temple stifles, stuns #1 Houston with a late defensive stand


Temple's Damien Dunn, left, celebrates the reaction of Jamal Shedd of Houston, right, at the end of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, January 22, 2023, in Houston.  Temple won 56-55.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Damien Dunn, of Temple, left, celebrates as Jamal Shedd of Houston, right, at the end of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, January 22, 2023, in Houston. Temple won 56-55. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

For a Houston team cruising through an AAC game, Sunday was supposed to be a picnic.

Temple had other ideas. The Owls stifled the top-ranked Cougars from the opening end and closed out the game with a dramatic defensive stance to secure a stunning 56-55 upset.

The Owls took a late lead on a Damian Dunn free throw with 1:06 remaining and then fell back on a Cougars layup twice in the final seconds of the game. With the clock less than 10 seconds ticking, Houston’s All-AAC guard Jamal Shedd charged the basket to get the go-ahead. Kor Jong Kuch turned from the temple from the assist side to pin the attempt against the backboard.

Houston’s Tramon Mark got the rebound only to find his punch stuffed from behind by Nick Jordan. The ball then bounced out of bounds with 1.3 seconds remaining.

The Cougars got a good look at the ensuing inside lop play, but Tramon Mark’s shot bounced off the rim as time expired, and the previously 11-9 Owls pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season.

The defensive position suited Temple’s team that held Houston to its third-lowest production of the season. The Cougars only shot 33.9% from the field and saw only two players hit double figures. Shade led Houston with 13 points on 4 of 16 attempts from the field.

Houston returned the favor with his usual stifling defense that had Temple shooting 31.1% from the field. But the Owls made up the difference at the free throw line, connecting on 20 of 22 (90.9%) attempts. Meanwhile, Houston shot 11 of 21 (52.4%) from the tape. Dan led Temple’s effort with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Houston’s loss is a precursor to a possible change in the polls’ lead after a week that saw #2 Kansas lose twice. Purdue could return to the No. 1 spot after being kicked off the top line following a Jan. 2 loss to Rutgers.



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