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No. 1 Houston Upset by Temple; Owls' 1st Win over Top-Ranked Team Since 2000

Doric SamJanuary 22, 2023

Temple's Damian Dunn, left, celebrates as Houston's Jamal Shead, right, reacts at the end an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Houston. Temple won 56-55. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The No. 1-ranked Houston Cougars were riding a nine-game win streak into Sunday's matchup against the Temple Owls, but it came to a screeching halt with a 56-55 loss in front of their home fans at Ferttita Center.

For the Owls, this marks the program's first win over a top-ranked team since 2000.

Sunday's contest was a gritty battle that saw both teams shoot under 35 percent from the field. The Cougars were doomed by their ineptitude at the free-throw line, as they connected on 11 of their 21 attempts while the Owls converted 20 of 22.

Sophomore guard Damian Dunn led Temple with 16 points off the bench. He was fouled with 1:06 left in the second half and went 1-of-2 from the line to break a 55-55 tie.

The Cougars had a couple of shots to take the lead in the final seconds, but Owls senior forward Kur Jongkuch came up with a huge block out of bounds on Jamal Shead's layup attempt. Houston maintained possession with 1.3 seconds left, but Tramon Mark's tip-in attempt was off-target as time expired.

This is Houston's first loss in conference play, but they still lead the AAC with a 6-1 conference record and 18-2 overall. Temple (12-9) is right behind the Cougars at 6-2 in conference play. The Owls are now 2-0 against ranked opponents, as they took down then-No. 16 Villanova in November.

Temple will look to build on the momentum from Sunday when it hosts South Florida (9-11, 2-5) on Wednesday, while Houston will try to get back on track that same day in a road matchup against UCF (13-6, 4-3).