Written by: Eileen Wickline
With a long break and road trip behind them, Temple Men’s Basketball is back on North Broad to open up home play in 2019. The team is currently undefeated at home and is looking forward to being back on the court at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls are coming off an exciting overtime win against Wichita State on Sunday which brought them to a 1-1 conference record and an 11-3 overall record. Conference play will continue Wednesday night at home when the undefeated Houston Cougars face off against the Owls.
“They have the most power out of any team we have faced,” senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. said at practice on Tuesday. “This is a game that has a lot of firepower. Our defense needs to be top notch.”
Alston has been the team’s leading scorer this season and has recorded an average of 19.4 points per game. With late in the game plays being decided to one crucial shot, Alston has stepped up to be the leader not only on the court but off the court.
“They go to me at the end of the games,” Alston explained. “We pass the ball around but at Wichita it landed on my shoulders and my teammates and coach trusted me. It paid off.”
Conference play is always tough for Temple, teams like UCF and Houston always pose a threat for Temple. With UCF serving Temple their first loss of the New Year, and Temple sealing a big win against Wichita State, Houston is the next exciting conference test.
“We want to get off to a really good start. Not only start with the lead but keep it,” Coach Fran Dunphy said on conference play, “Every basket is important, every possession is important.”
Temple will be facing off against a Houston team that has been dominant in both conference and non-conference play. The Cougars are currently ranked number 17 in the country.
When Houston came to Philadelphia last year, the Owls fell to the Cougars by almost a 30-point deficit. This year, the team looks and feels different.
“We’re another year older,” Dunphy explained. “We’ve improved on late in the game situations.”
Temple will tip-off against Houston at 7PM on Wednesday. Listen to the call on WHIP.