The road woes continued for Temple Saturday night as they were defeated by the Houston Cougars 79-66.
The Owls trailed early and often throughout the contest. The only Temple lead came when Obi Enechionyia knocked down a three pointer on the Owls’ first possession to make it 3-0, but Houston controlled the rest of the night behind huge games from Rob Gray and Damyean Dotson.
Damyean Dotson put up his seventh double-double of the year in a 20 point and 10 rebound effort. Rob Gray, the AAC’s leading scorer, racked up 28 points as he shot 3-4 from behind the arc and a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line to lead the extremely efficient Houston offense. The Cougars rank 1st in free throw percentage and 2nd in 3-point percentage in the American Athletic Conference and stayed true to form as they shot 46% from the floor and 86% at the free-throw line in their win.
For Temple, Obi Enechionyia put in a performance that looked similar to the Obi that propelled the Owls’ 5 game win streak early in the season as he scored 16 points on 4-9 shooting from three and grabbed 7 rebounds. The junior was only averaging 9.9 points per game in AAC play and was struggling mightily from behind the arc after his stellar nonconference showing where he recorded 20+ points 5 times within the first seven games.
Freshman Quinton Rose provided a spark off the bench with 9 first-half points in only 9 minutes of play, but then shot 1 for 5 in the second half and finished with 11. The Jekyll and Hyde season continues for the Rochester, NY native. While Rose’s athleticism and effort on the court this season has been a mainstay, it is his inconsistent shooting and ability to take care of the ball that gets him stuck to the bench at times. Q Rose is shooting 26% from three this season, but in games when Rose swishes at least one trey, the Owls are 7-2. As far as the ball security, Rose has more turnover (44) than assists (38) this year.
Senior captain Dan Dingle remains a model of consistency and did the same in Saturday night’s loss. Dingle posted 15 points, 3 boards and 3 assists. This was the 11th time in the last 12 games in which #4 has recorded double-digits in scoring.
With the loss the Owls’ record in true road games has fallen to 1-7 with that one victory coming within the city of Philadelphia when they beat St. Joseph’s 78-72 in late November. Oddly enough, Temple has had a couple of their most impressive wins on neutral courts, when they defeated West Virginia and Florida State at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but they can seem to get on the winning end when playing at somebody else’s gymnasium.
The Owls have a great opportunity to get that second road win of the 2016-2017 season next game when they travel to New Orleans to face Tulane. Tulane has had a miserable season with a 4-17 overall record and a 1-8 record within the AAC. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 pm and the game can be viewed on ESPNNews.