No. 1 Houston ‘by no means could make the big play’ in loss to Temple

HOUSTON — Damian Dunn scored 16 factors and made the go-ahead free throw, and Kur Jongkuch blocked Houston’s go-ahead try in the closing seconds, as Temple held on to defeat the top-ranked Cougars 56-55 on Sunday, including to a weekend of upsets.

Coupled with no. 2 Kansas’ loss Saturday to TCU, Houston’s defeat marked the first time in AP ballot historical past that each of the prime two groups misplaced at residence in a two-day span, in accordance to ESPN Stats & Information analysis.

Temple improved to 3-18 in opposition to No. 1-ranked groups. The Owls (12-9, 6-2 American Athletic Conference) earned their first win over a No. 1-ranked staff since a 77-69 victory at No. 1 Cincinnati on Feb. 20, 2000.

Houston was a 19-point favourite, making Temple’s victory the largest upset over an AP No. 1 staff since Stephen F. Austin defeated No. 1 Duke as a 27.5-point underdog on Nov. 26, 2019, in accordance to ESPN Stats & Information analysis.

“We had a foul day, however we nonetheless have a great staff,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson stated. “All of our desires and targets are nonetheless forward of us.”

Tied at 55, Dunn made a free throw with 1 minute, 6 seconds left to give Temple a one-point lead. Jamal Shead missed a 3-pointer and Nick Jourdain grabbed the rebound. Dunn missed a layup with eight seconds left and Jongkuch grabbed the rebound, however the Owls had been whistled for a shot-clock violation upon evaluation.

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Trailing by one, Shead drove to the basket, however Jongkuch blocked it out of bounds with 1.3 seconds left. Tramon Mark’s tip-in try, on a designed play from Sampson, fell brief at the buzzer to give the Owls the win.

“You’re not going to get a greater one than that,” Sampson stated. “I believed the execution was nice. Just missed the shot.”

Temple coach Aaron McKee agreed.

“My coronary heart was pounding,” he stated. “They ran a extremely good play. They obtained a great take a look at it and missed it. And we received the recreation.”

Zach Hicks added 12 factors for Temple, which snapped a six-game dropping streak to Houston. The Owls shot 31% however had been 20-of-22 from the free throw line.

Shead scored 13 factors, and Marcus Sasser added 12 factors for Houston (18-2, 6-1), which noticed its nine-game profitable streak snapped.

Houston shot 34% however was 11-of-21 from the free throw line.

“We simply by no means could make the big play,” Sampson stated. “We wanted the big shot.”

Tied at 47, Temple used an 8-1 spurt to open up a 55-48 lead on two free throws by Jourdain with 6½ minutes remaining. Houston responded with a 7-0 run to tie it at 55.

Overall, there have been loads of rarities for the Cougars. With the recreation tied 30-30 at the half, it marked the first time this season that Houston didn’t lead at the break. And Sampson was issued a technical foul in the second half for arguing a foul name.

“The solely finger that needs to be pointed is at me,” Sampson stated, summing up the day. “I’m the coach.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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