HOUSTON - University of Houston junior guard Rob Gray posted 28 points with seven rebounds and five assists and senior guard Damyean Dotson totaled 20 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars to a 79-66 win over Temple on Saturday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
In one of his most efficient offensive performances of the season, Gray recorded his team-leading 13th 20-point game this season by hitting 8-of-13 shots from the field and all nine free throws.
Meanwhile Dotson enjoyed his team-leading seventh double-double of the season as the Cougars won their second straight home game and ninth of the season.
With the win, Houston improved to 15-7 overall and 6-4 in American Athletic Conference play. Temple dropped to 11-11 and 2-7 in league play.
The game was close early with both teams fighting to a 16-16 tie after Temple's Daniel Dingle sank a jumper midway through the opening period.
Fortunately, the Cougars used a 10-2 run over the next 1:45 and held a 26-18 advantage when junior guard Wes VanBeck converted an and-1 at the 8:24 mark. The Cougars would never trail or tie the rest of the way and built as much as a 16-point lead in the second half.
Temple, the defending American Athletic Conference champion, rallied and closed to within 55-52 when Alani Moore II banked in a layup with 11:18 remaining in the game.
However, Gray and Dotson combined to score the next eight points for the Cougars over the next two-and-a-half minutes and never trailed by fewer than six points the rest of the way.
The Cougars were boosted by the return of junior forward Devin Davis, who came off the bench Saturday. Davis, who was the Cougars' second-leading scorer and leading rebounder before being sidelined in early December with a hand injury and then plantar fasciitis in his foot, posted nine points with five rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
Senior center Kyle Meyer grabbed seven rebounds, including a game-high four off the offensive glass, and has snared 15 boards in his last two games.
Temple forward Obi Enechionyia led the Owls with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Dingle added 15 points with three rebounds and three assists. Quinton Rose came off the bench to post 11 points in the loss.
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars wrap up their homestand when they take on UCF at 6 p.m., Wednesday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion... Will be second meeting against the Knights after UCF claimed a 77-70 win in Orlando on Jan. 14... Game can be seen on ESPNU and heard on KPRC 950 AM.
From there, Cougars hit the road to take on Tulane at 7 p.m., Feb. 8, at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans... Second meeting between the two teams after the Cougars claimed a 65-51 win in Hofheinz Paviliion on Jan. 24... Game can be seen on ESPNews and heard on KPRC 950 AM.
Single-game tickets and group ticket packages are available to accommodate all budgets. Fans can visit uhcougars.com/tickets, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and follow the appropriate links or call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) to order tickets.
Current University of Houston main campus students are admitted FREE to all Men's Basketball games with valid IDs. Main campus students may purchase student guest tickets to each Men's Basketball game for $5 each, based on availability.
Single game tickets begin at only $12 for American Athletic Conference games.
The Cougars will take part in the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge. Houston fans are invited to visit pledgeit.org/cvc-houston and pledge a dollar amount for every 3-pointer the Cougars make from Feb. 1 to March 5.
The funds raised will help the American Cancer Society continue its mission to improving and saving lives by doing the most to help people with cancer today and working tirelessly to find cures for the disease tomorrow.
JOIN the 50-50 CLUB
Fans are invited to join the 50-50 Club to support Houston Men's Basketball. 50-50 Club members help fund program necessities and enhance the experience for our student-athletes.
Fans who join the 50-50 Club will receive embroidered team apparel, a signed basketball, invitations to practice, a tour of the $25 million Guy V. Lewis Development Facility, regular updates about the program and much more.
Fans can receive updates by following @UHCougarMBK on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook and Instagram pages.