HOUSTON - The University of Houston Men's Basketball program opened American Athletic Conference play 2-0 for the third straight season with a 76-73 win over Temple on Saturday evening in H&PE Arena.
Junior forward Breaon Brady posted a career-high and game-high 21 points while pulling down nine rebounds in only 18 minutes of action, exiting the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Brady was 8-of-9 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line.
Falling behind 38-32 on Temple's first basket of the second half -- just 32 seconds after the halftime break -- Houston used a 20-2 run over the next seven-and-a-half minutes to grab a 52-40 lead.
Houston would never relinquish the lead, withstanding a late 7-0 Temple run as the Owls pulled as close as 74-73 with nine seconds left in the game following a Shizz Alston Jr. trey. Fortunately, Senior guard Rob Gray would seal the game, converting both free throw attempts with seven seconds left, before a second Alston three-point attempt went long to preserve the Houston win.
Gray -- who entered the game as the defending and current American Athletic Conference scoring leader -- was held to only eight points, snapping his streak of double-digit points at 43 games. It was the first time Gray did not score 10+ points since finishing with nine points at Georgia Tech in the NIT First Round on March 16, 2016.
However, the Forest City, N.C., native made his presence known in other ways, grabbing seven rebounds -- second only to Brady -- and dished out three assists in the win.
After Brady was sidelined with his injury, freshman forward Fabian White Jr. provided key minutes in the frontcourt and finished with eight points, including six in the final four-and-a-half minutes.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in The American, while Temple fell to 7-6 and 0-2 in the league.
Alston led Temple with 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting, while guard Quinton Rose finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Nate Pierre-Louis came off the bench to post 11 points, while forward Obi Enechionyia tied with Rose for team-high honors with five rebounds.
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars open the year 2018 when they face No. 8/10 Wichita State at 6 p.m., Thursday, in Wichita, Kan... Game can be seen on ESPN and heard on KPRC 950 AM.
From there, Cougars will take a break from competition before facing Tulsa at 6 p.m., Jan. 11, inside H&PE Arena.
Fans can purchase mini-plans, flex plans and single-game tickets with single-game tickets starting at only $15. Fans can purchase tickets online at UHCougars.com/tickets or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).
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