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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Caleb Mills' 23 points helps Houston defeat Temple 78-74 on the road

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UPDATED: January 8, 2020 -- 7:43 a.m. CT

POSTED: January 7, 2020 -- 9:25 p.m. CT

PHILADELPHIA, PA (The Liacouras Center) -- The Houston Cougars earned a tough 78-74 road over the Temple Owls Tuesday night. Caleb Mills scored a game-high 23 points including 7 consecutive points after Houston trailed 58-56.

Mills was calm, cool, and collected down the stretch. Houston led 70-67 with less than two minutes remaining when Mills scored back-to-back driving layups. Both layups were scored with Mills' left hand (he's right-handed).

Houston led 74-67 with 57 seconds remaining. Temple's J.P. Moorman sank a corner three-point shot to trim Houston's lead to 74-70. Temple fouled Houston's DeJon Jarreau; and, Jarreau sank both foul shots for six point Houston lead.

Temple's Quinton Rose was fouled with 26 seconds remaining. Rose made both free throw attempts; and, the Owls fouled Houston again. This time Mills went to the free throw line. He made both free throws for a 78-72 lead with 22 seconds remaining.

Temple guard Nate Pierre-Louis slam dunked with 17 seconds remaining. Houston missed four free throws in the final seconds; but, the Owls failed to score.

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Houston dominated the boards for most of the ball game. Houston had a 32-13 rebounding edge in the first half. However, Temple did a much better job on the boards in the second as Houston out-rebounded the Owls 22-19 in the second 20 minutes.

The Coogs led 39-27 at halftime; but, the Owls scored the first four points of the second half. The Owls took its first lead of the game, 58-56, with 8:17 remaining in the game.

After a Houston timeout, Mills sank a three-point shot to put Houston back on top. Temple's Jake Forrester sank a baseline jumper for a 60-59 lead; but, Mills answered with back-to-back jumpers for a 63-60 lead.

Mills scored 13 of Houston's final 22 points in the last 7:57 of the game.

Chris Harris Jr added 11 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. DeJon Jarreau finished the game with 11 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Nate Hinton filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 blocked shot.

Houston has won 6 straight games to improve to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the American Athletic Conference. Temple is now 9-5 and 1-2 in The American.

Houston's next game is Saturday, January 11, on the road, against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Tip time is set for 3 p.m. ESPN2 will show the game.

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