#1 Villanova Tops the Owls 87-67

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Good things come in threes, and apparently so do bad things. They certainly do in regard to Temple playing Villanova when Villanova is ranked No.1.

It doesn’t matter if they play them at the Liacouras Center, Pavilion or the Palestra, Temple just can’t seem to shake this new era of Wildcats. Temple has dropped five straight matchups against Villanova. In their third consecutive effort to upset a top Nova team, the Owls could not result in an 87-67 loss.

Temple could not tame two Wildcats, in particular, Jalen Brunson and Omari Spellman. Brunson always seems to play his basketball against the Owls. He notched a new career high of 31 points, going 11-16 from the field and 6-10 from behind the arc. Brunson also grabbed 6 rebound and dished out 5 assists, while accumulating zero turnovers. However, Brunson was far more dominant in the first half, 22 of his of 31 coming from the first 20 minutes of play. When Brunson [hardly] dropped off, Omari Spellman picked it up for the Wildcats. Spellman went 11-14 from the field and 4-7 from the three. He also grabbed 8 boards. It should not be forgotten that the Wildcats’ leading scorer was irrelevant on the court. Mikal Bridges, who averages just over 18 ppg, only added 7 points to the offense.

Courtesy Yahoo Sports

While Brunson and Spellman were practically unstoppable, Quinton Rose did everything in his power to give the two Wildcats a response on the scoreboard. Rose also earned a new career high of 27 points. He went 9-12 from the field and 5-6 from behind the arc. He also ignited a 13-0 run in the first half by draining back-back-back 3s in under 70 seconds to cut the Villanova lead to 7.

Rose did not have much help on the floor. Shizz Alston only had 10 points and went 0-4 from deep. While Brunson was dishing assists all night with zero turnovers, Alston was doing the opposite. He had two turnovers and zero assists. Temple as a unit had 8 assists and 11 turnovers. Villanova also had 11 turnovers, but they had 19 assists.

Villanova was essentially without Bridges and Temple was essentially without Obi Enechionyia. Despite having 7 rebounds, he did not contribute much to the Owls’ effort to upset the No.1 team in the nation. He was 1-7 from the field, 0-2 from behind the arc, 1-4 from the foul line and had 3 personal fouls. Overall accounting for only 3 points of offense.

Villanova truly showed why they are the top team in the country and they made it look easy. They shot 60% from the field and 46% from deep while Temple shot 47% from the field and just 36.8% from behind the arc. Villanova’s ability to convert on fastbreaks put the game out of reach for the Owls. They outscored Temple 21-9 on fastbreak points, accounting for 12 of their 20 points over the Owls.

The Owls are back in action Saturday, December 16th, at 5:00 o’clock at the Liacouras Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Third Time’s the Charm? Owls Host #1 Villanova

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The Temple Owls will be facing a no.1 Villanova for the third time in a row. The Owls have had the luck of playing four number one teams in the past three seasons, three of which being their hometown rival, Villanova. This matchup marks the 20th time in program history that Temple will be facing a number 1 team. They are only 2-17 in those matchups and have not upset the top team in the nation since defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2000. However, the Owls are 1-3 vs. no.1 teams at the Liacouras Center.

Despite having a 16-9 home record against the Wildcats, Villanova leads the all-time series 48-43. This is the closest rivalry in the Big 5, but Villanova has been dominating the city series in recent seasons. Their current senior class has the same opportunity as the class above them to go out without a loss in the Big 5. The Wildcats have won 21 straight city series and are currently 3-0 in the Big 5. The Owls are 1-1 after a close loss to La Salle.

Temple has relied heavily on the sophomore guard, Quinton Rose, so far this season. He is tied with Shizz Alston for leading scorer for the Owls at 17.3 ppg, ranking sixth in the AAC for scoring. Rose is averaging just under 2 steals per game and leads the Owls in rebounding with 6.1 rpg. Just .1 more than Obi Enechionyia who is averaging 12.9 ppg and 6 rpg. Temple’s big-man game is something that was skeptical coming into the season. They have seen sporadic excellence from Ernest Aflakpui and Damione Moore down low. Including a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double from Moore against South Carolina. As well as a clutch 12 points and 6 rebounds from Aflakpui in Temple’s close win over St. Joe’s. However, they are rather inconsistent.

The Owls do have three players averaging in double figures, but Villanova has four. Mikal Bridges leads the Wildcats with 18.1ppg and of course, Jalen Brunson is in the mix with 17.2 ppg. Brunson also leads the Wildcats with 4.8 assists per game. That is 1.2 over Temple’s Josh Brown who is only averaging 3.6 apg.

The action is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. at the Liacouras Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Temple is the Big Cheese on Broad St. with 59-55 Win Over Wisconsin

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Sixteen lead changes, eight ties and 52 free throws are just a few significant digits from Temple’s matchup against Wisconsin.

 

Temple and Wisconsin kept fans on the their toes right up until the final seconds of the game. The Owls were barely able to pull out a 59-55 win over the badgers to improve to 5-2. This matchup went down to the wire and the stat sheet proved that. There was a total of 16 lead changes and the score was all tied up 8 times and remained tied at 55 until the 1:09 minute mark. Wisconsin grabbed 33 rebounds, Temple grabbed 32. The Owls 12 assists and the Badgers had 14. Temple had 26 points in the pain and Wisconsin had 30. This is the kind of match up that played out the entire 40 minutes. “This is good Temple team. We knew that coming in, and we knew we were going to have to play solid for a good 40 minutes,” said Wisconsin head coach, Greg Gard. “We played solid for about 36 to 37 minutes.”

 

Courtesy Temple Owls

The Badgers had a chance to put the game out of reach with under 30 seconds to play. There was 27.6 seconds on the clock, Wisconsin ball, no shot clock. A big rebound from Quinton Rose with 12 seconds to go would do it for the Owls. This forced the Badgers to foul, and they unfortunately put Temple’s best free throw shooter on the line. Shizz Alston went 6-6 from the charity stripe, including four in the final minute of the game to ice the game for the Owls

 

With those six free throws against Wisconsin, Shizz Alston set a new Temple record. He is now 24-24 on this season, and has not missed a foul shot since December 28th, 2016. This puts him at 52 consecutive made free throws, surpassing Temple great, Lynn Greer’s previous record of 49 straight free throws. Alston was not just scoring from the foul line. The junior went 7-15 from the field for 22 points, and grabbed 3 rebound while contributing up 4 assists.

 

Obi Enechionyia also played a big role in the Owls’ victory. The big man grabbed 7 rebounds and knocked out 4 blocks, while contributing 11 points to the offense. Josh Brown was two boards shy of picking up a double-double. Brown dropped 10 points while leading the Owls on the boards with 8 total rebounds.

 

The Owls will be back on Broad Street Saturday December 9th to take on Big Five rival, the St. Joe’s Hawks. Tip off is set for 2:30 on CBS Sports.

 

Temple Defeats Clemson 67-60 to Win Gildan Charleston Classic

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Temple was able to maintain their lead throughout the entire second half, despite a last-stick effort from Clemson, who was able to cut the lead to 4 with under two minutes to play.

 

The Owls historically live or die by the three ball, and they were able to knock down 10 from behind the arc. Even though they were able to hit 10 threes, they only shot 35% from behind the arc and 37% from the field. Josh Brown and Alani Moore each contributed three 3s. Brown ended with 13 points and Moore with 12.

 

In the Owl’s’ first two tournament matchups, they only saw big performances from Quinton Rose, Shizz Alston, and Obi Enechionyia. Their matchup against Clemson showed a rounder performance from Temple as a whole. Five Owls scored in double digits. Alston led with 14 points, followed by Brown with 13, Enechionyia and Moore with 12, and Rose rounded it out with 10 points. Quinton Rose recorded his first double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He also led all Owls with 4 assists. Enechionyia went on to win Gildan Charleston Classic MVP averaging 15.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, and 5 assist per game.

 

This is the first time the Owls have won the Gildan Classic in their third appearance. Aside from their victory in the 2016 NIT Tip-Off Tournament, where they went on to beat two ranked opponents in WVU and Florida St., this is the first regular season tournament victory for the Owls since the 1998-1999 season. Temple is starting off 3-0, which is their hottest start since the 2012-2013 season where they went on to a 6-0 start.

 

Temple will have a 6 day break to prepare for their next matchup and first Big 5 contest against La Salle. Tip off is set for 5 o’clock on November 26th.

Temple Takes Down ODU 76-65 for First Win of the Season

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After waiting an extra week to kick off their basketball season, the Owls did not seem out of stride one bit. They started strong from the beginning, and their hot start was able to hold them over during a bit of momentum spur from ODU in the final leg of the game.

 

Shizz Alston Jr. ended the 2016-2017 season as the leading scorer for the Owls, and after their first matchup he is making a campaign to be the leading scorer for Temple’s 2017-2018 as well. Alston dropped 23 points, going 7-13 from the field and 5-8 from behind the arc. He also grabbed 6 rebounds, but the guard was only able to contribute 2 assists and had a turnover on top of that.

 

The Owls saw strong performances from Obi Enechionyia and Quinton Rose as well. Enechionyia added 15 points,  6 rebounds, and a block. Rose, the promising sophomore guard, went 50% from the field dropping 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Courtesy NBC sports

Despite strong performances from Alston, Enechionyia and Rose, no other Owls scored in double digits. Last season the Owls had 4 guys averaging 10 or more points. Aside from Josh Brown’s 7 points, Brown only going 1-6 from the field as well, four Owls combined for a total of 11 points.

 

Temple at times was able to put the Monarchs away. They led as much as 19 points, but the Owls allowed ODU to go on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 1 point right around the 9 minute mark. Temple does have key veterans in their return such as Enechionyia and Alston. The rest of the team is still playing catch up on the experience level. As promising as Rose and Alani Moore II have proven to be, especially given their minutes played in their freshmen seasons, they are still only sophomores. Brown’s return as a fifth year senior is beneficial for the team, but Brown has not played for approximately one year. It showed on the floor. Although Brown picked up 5 rebounds, he only contributed 7 points and his assist to turnover ratio was 3:2. It might take him a few games into the season to iron out some of those kinks.

 

The Owls were able to close out on the Monarchs 76-65 in their first game of the year, and will advance to the second round of the Charleston classic. They will be taking on Auburn at 11 am on ESPN 2 on November 17.

Temple Kicks off Season vs. ODU in Charleston Classic

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While the rest of the college basketball world is three-four games deep into their seasons, Temple basketball is eagerly awaiting their tip off. The Owls are heading down to South Carolina to take on Old Dominion in The Charleston Classic.

 

Old Dominion is off to a hot start on their season. They are 2-0 after defeating Towson and James Madison. They held both opponents to under 55 points. Last season Temple was able to average 70 points per game with an offensive unit that was not too strong. Temple’s new found depth is surely looking to up the ante on the scoreboard.

Temple’s depth this season relies heavily on their guard rotation. The absence of Josh Brown last season, due to an achilles tendon injury, forced Temple’s younger guards to step up. Shizz Alston Jr. led the team in minutes played with 36.4 minutes played per game. Alani Moore and Quinton Rose each averaged about 25 minutes, as freshmen. With Brown back as the primary caretaker of the ball, the Owls are going to have more than enough weapons that can take care of the ball. That is not even factoring in Temple’s freshmen guards, Nate Pierre Louis and De’Vondre Perry. Both freshmen were high profile prospects, but their ability to transition from high school level competition to D1 will be tested in their matchup against the monarchs.

 

Despite having an arsenal of guards available, Temple’s height is surprisingly going to be a key for how they will be able to contest ODU. The Monarchs are returning their second leading rebounder, Brandon Stith. The redshirt senior averaged 7 rpg last season as a 6’ 7” forward. ODU only has one big guy that is over 6’7” that could potentially be trouble for the Owls. Trey Porter, a 6’10” redshirt junior is coming back, he averaged 4.8 rpg last season. Temple returns leading rebounder, Obi Enechionyia the 6’10” stretch-forward with a nasty jump shot. Enechionyia averaged  5.8 rpg. In addition to their multitude of guards, the Owls will have a nice rotation of  big men. Ernest Aflakpui stands at 6’10” and is hungry on the boards, he averaged 5 rpg. Sophomore, Damion Moore, the 6’11” center will be vying for minutes with Aflakpui. Temple’s presence under the rim should be able to help them increase their ability to rebound as a whole this season.

 

Although ODU is returning 3 out of their 5 top scorers from their previous season, Temple is returning 4 out of their top 5, including their number 1 and number 2. In addition to Josh Brown who redshirted last season. Shizz Alston Jr. led the team in points with 13.9 ppg and Enechionyia followed with 13.1. Their sophomore guards are expected to contribute to the Owls’ offense even more this season. Rose averaged 10.1 ppg and Moore II 6.5.

 

The action kicks off at 1:30 on ESPN3.

Owls Fall to Wildcats Despite Tough Fight

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By: Ashley Mir

On Friday the 13th, the Owls hosted an intense game against the Villanova Wildcats. Despite the tough fight Villanova took full advantage of all opportunities on the field and owned the game, leaving the Owls at 4-9-0.

 

From the first whistle, Wildcats took possession. The Owls retaliated with strong double-teams and block tackles to contain Nova. The Wildcats scored off of a deflected shot on their first offensive corner.

Temple bounced back with a fast-break down the field. Nova held forceful defense and took possession once again as the Owls’ defense broke down in their defensive circle, allowing the Wildcats to score again.

 

The Owls were relentless. Constant communication between the midfielders and forward line allowed efficient passes down the field. Lucy Reed scored Temple’s first and only goal of the game in the 27th minute off of a rebound. With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, Nova obtained a penalty stroke, leaving the Owls down 3-1 at halftime.

 

Temple put immense pressure on Nova’s defense for most of the second half. They forced 4 offensive corners, searching for opportunities to score.

 

Despite the intensity level the Owls played, Nova took control and now stand at 5-8. The Wildcats held possession most of the game, ending with 22 shots on goal and Temple with 14. Being down by 2 goals early in the game had a major impact on Temple’s outcome.

 

The Owls’ next game is another home advantage. Temple will take on Penn this Sunday, October 15th at 2 P.M. The Owls are focused on improving their record.

Women’s Volleyball Splits Weekend Games

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By: Ben Medland

 

Friday, September 22, 2017, vs. Wichita State, L 1-3

The Temple Owls had a tough matchup against Wichita State, on September 22, who is ranked 24th in the nation.  They managed to steal a set from the Shockers, and kept the first and third sets very close.  Unfortunately, the Owls could not get ahead in this one and fell to 4-5 on the season and 0-1 in the conference.  Izzy Rapacz had a career high of 21 kills and added three blocks to her column.  Irem Asci also had a stellar performance with a double-double in this match, totalling for 14 kills and 13 digs.  Additionally, Kyra Coundourides had led both teams in assists in the game with 59.  Despite the dominating performances by the Owls, it wasn’t enough to pull them in front of the nationally ranked Shockers.

 

Sunday, September 24, 2017, vs. Memphis, W 3-0

The Owls looked to bounce back two days later with a Sunday afternoon showdown against Memphis.  Sitting at 0-1 in the conference ahead of the game, they hoped to get their first conference win.  The Owls got out to an early dominate lead, winning the first set 25-17.  The women easily took the next two sets from the Tigers with the scores of 25-16 and 25-15.  The Owls coasted their way to their first conference win of the season.  Another great game by Coundourides, who put in a double-double with 38 assists and 17 digs.  Irem Asci continued her recent success with a double-double of her own for the second game in a row, with 11 kills and 13 digs.  Izzy Rapacz hit .350 and led both teams in blocks with six in the game.  This crucial win put the team at .500 for the season in both their overall record and conference record.  At 5-5 on the season, the team looks for this moment to be a turning point in the season.

 

Weekend Star- Kyra Coundourides

Kyra Coundourides has been dominating the court recently.  In the two games she had a combined 97 assists and 25 digs.  She recorded a double-double on September 24, making that her fourth on the season.  Her recent dominance has not been unnoticed, as her and Izzy Rapacz, were both named to the weekly honor roll for the American Athletic Conference on September 25. Kyra is in her last year at Temple after transferring from Virginia Tech in her junior year, and looks to finish off her collegiate career with the best year yet.  So far, Coundourides sits in first on the team in assists with 264.  She also sits in third on the team in digs with 81.  With her recent dominance in assists, she looks to top last year’s total of 1253 assists.

Looking Ahead

Sitting at a record of 5-5, the team looks ahead to the beginning of October with two key matches.  They play East Carolina on Friday, October 6, and then face off against Cincinnati, two days later on Sunday, October 8.  Both of these matches will be played at McGonigle Hall.  East Carolina currently sit at a record of 9-5, and are coming off of a win against South Florida.  This game should be an evenly contested game for the team, despite their records.  Temple has played up to their competition pretty well.  They gave a nationally ranked team a run for their money and took one set from them.  The Owls have also beat a great Memphis team three sets to none.  East Carolina beat a South Florida team who is 4-7 and still dropped one set.

The Owls will then host the Cincinnati Bears on Sunday, October 8 at 1 pm.  The Bears are coming off of two straight wins, but have a season record of 4-10.  This match should not be taken lightly for the Owls, as anything can happen in conference games.  If the Owls can just continue on their great team work and play as a unified team like they have been, then this game should not be a problem.

The Owls need to get out to a couple wins in the near future and start a good winning streak if they want to make a run for the playoffs.  At this point in the season, wins are crucial and very necessary in this tough conference.

Field Hockey tops Sacred Heart 3-2 in OT Victory

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By: Ashley Mir

After a tough fight, the Owls fell to the Uconn Huskies 4-1, whom are ranked no.1 in the country, in their Friday night lights matchup.  However, that didn’t kill the Owls’ drive when they hosted the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Sunday afternoon.

 

Temple brought intensity to the turf. The Owls took control right away, forcing an offensive corner in the first five minutes of the game. They fought hard to keep the ball in their hands, but it was a continuous back and forth battle for possession through most of the first half. Toward the end of the second half, a penalty stroke was given to the Pioneers where Nicole Tolley scored their first goal, leaving the Owls down 1-0 at the half.

 

Sacred Heart had the lead for the second half. On their third defensive corner of the game, the Pioneers scored another goal. Just 34 seconds later, Temple responded on an offensive corner, where Sarah Keer and Maddie Merton brought the score to 2-1. With eight minutes left in the game, sophomore, Becky Gerheart, tied the game with an assist from sophomore, Kathryn Edgar.

 

Momentum carried  throughout the field and stands heading into overtime. After four clean passes down the field, Edgar passed a corner ball to Rachel Mueller for the winning shot on goal, giving the Owls a 3-2 victory over Sacred Heart.

 

Player of the Game:

 

Becky Gerheart played an outstanding, intense game against Sacred Heart. Each time the team lost control, Gerheart was there to keep the focus. Gerheart stepped up to each and every ball and anticipated passes. She had several exceptional defensive saves and scored the second goal on an offensive corner. No matter the pressure, Gerheart never gave up and played strong for the full 70 minutes plus over time.

 

Looking Ahead:

 

Next up, the Owls will travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Georgetown Hoyas on September 29th at 2:00 p.m. Georgetown currently stands at 5-5-0. If the Owls manage to shut Georgetown, they could improve to 4-6.

 

Temple Volleyball Falls to Nova, Owls Look to Bounce Back vs. Wichita State

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By: Ben Medland 

Last Game: September 15, 2017 at Villanova

The Owls fell to a record of 4-4 on the season as they lost an away match last Friday night. The Owls fought hard and managed to steal one set from the Villanova Wildcats.  Stellar performances were turned in by Irem Asci, who kept the sets close, with 19 kills and 3 aces. Iva Deak also scored double digits in kills with 10, along with 5 blocks.  Asci and Deak played hard and helped the team dominate the court against the Wildcats.  However, their performances were not enough to carry the team to their fifth victory of the season, as they fell 3-1.  Temple has dropped from no. 8 to no.12 in the nation in blocks per set.

Standout Star: Irem Asci

Irem Asci has been putting in great performances in recent games.  She, stuffed the stat sheet against Villanova and in their game against Boston College, where she had 10 kills and 10 digs.  The outside hitter looks to increase her total of kills, as she sits second on the team for kills with 64.  Some other season totals for Asci include, 47 digs, 10 blocks and 5 assists.  She currently leads the team in kills per set, averaging 2.91 kills per set.  Asci is looking to get back to her dominate role, like she had in 2015, where she lead the team in kills per set with 3.68.  

Next Game: Friday, September 22, 2017, against #24 Wichita State, 7 pm

The Owls face off against the Wichita State Shockers, for the first time in the school’s history.  The Shockers joined the AAC for the 2017-18 school year, and have been playing outstanding thus far in the new conference.  The team currently sits at a record of 8-3 and is ranked at 24th in the nation, the second time this season that the team has been ranked.  The Shockers are coming off of a huge weekend where they went 1-1 against two tough nationally ranked teams.  The team won a crucial game against #8 Creighton, 3-1, but fell in the second game when they could not manage to steal a set from #19, Iowa State.  The Shockers look to continue their recent success, with a win tonight in Philadelphia.  However, the Temple Owls, are desperate for a win as they look to start another win-streak tonight. So far this season, the Owls are 1-0 at home, and look to stay undefeated tonight on their home court. The Owls need to shut down Wichita State’s Tabitha Brown, and Abbie Lehman who both have a lot of kills this season.  If the Owls can continue with their “block party” and shut down key players for the Shockers, then they should have no problem jumping to 5-4  this season.  The Owls may have a little trouble if they can’t eliminate the early successful hitting by the Shockers.