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Temple (6-15) at Houston (11-12)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 9, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) -- Houston, Texas. Television: ESPNews. Home Record: Temple 2-6, Houston 8-4. Away Record: Temple 1-6, Houston 2-6. Neutral Record: Temple 3-3, Houston 1-2. Conference Record: Temple 1-8, Houston 3-7. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Both the Temple Owls and Houston Cougars will try to end losing streaks as they clash in an American Athletic Conference showdown at Hofheinz Pavilion Sunday.

Temple has lost two games in a row and 10 of its last 11 games altogether. In the inaugural year of the AAC, the Owls are occupying the basement in the conference standings at 1-8 - tied with UCF - nine games back of conference leader Cincinnati. The Owls are coming off a 75-52 torching at the hands of SMU.

Houston is on a five-game losing streak, and has lost seven of its last eight games, including a 77-62 defeat against Louisville. Oddly, the team both Temple and Houston defeated for their last wins was Rutgers. The Cougars are 3-7 in the AAC this season.

This meeting will represent the first-ever clash between Temple and Houston as new members of the AAC. The two programs will meet up later this season on March 1 at Temple.

Temple was outscored by double-digits in each of the two halves of play against SMU Thursday night. The Mustangs jumped ahead at the end of the first half, and took a 12-point lead into the intermission. Temple could never recover. Dalton Pepper led the Owls with 15 points and added seven rebounds in the loss, while Anthony Lee notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Will Cummings chipped in 10 points and dished out a team-high five assists for Temple.

Pepper leads the team this season in scoring with 17.5 ppg on 45.2 percent shooting from the floor. Pepper's 27 steals in a high for the Owls this year, and his 5.2 rpg average is second only to Lee's 9.2 rpg total. Lee chips in 14 ppg this season for Temple. Cummings is second in scoring at 16.6 ppg, and Quenton DeCosey is third with 15.3 ppg. Cummings is first on the squad with 81 total assists.

Louisville took a 19-point lead at the half over Houston in the Cougars' last outing, and survived any comeback attempt Houston attempted in the second period. The Cardinals held on for the 15-point victory. TaShawn Thomas and Jherrod Stiggers each netted 14 points to pace Houston in the losing effort. Thomas added eight rebounds to his stat line, but turned the ball over a team- high four times. Danuel House added 11 points for the Cougars.

Thomas and House are the top two scorers this season for Houston, leading the pack as the only two players to average double-digit point totals. Thomas is the team leader at 15.8 ppg with an impressive 59.6 percent shooting average from the floor. His 8.7 rpg mark is also first on the Cougars, along with 67 blocked shots and 27 steals. House averages 12.7 ppg. L.J. Rose leads the team with 89 assists on the year.

Both the Owls and Cougars are suffering through tough first seasons as members of the brand new AAC. Houston and Temple both have one or two go-to scorers, but the Cougars have more in terms of role-player depth. At home, Houston should prevail.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 71, Temple 63

02/09 10:17:48 ET

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