Seniors Go Out with a Bang in 86-76 Double OT Victory Against Tulane

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“I’m happy for them individually, for their families, and for the rest of the team too, that we were able to get a win,” said Fran Dunphy after a back and forth battle to the end against Tulane. Dunphy was able to commend his seniors on their hard work throughout the years, as well as their hard work in their last game at the Liacouras Center.

 

Temple may have won by double digits, but this game went down to the wire…twice. The Owls led the 50-minute contest for 42:31, but in the final minutes of regulation found themselves trailing the Green Wave. After Shizz Alston Jr. knocked in the offensive rebound to put the game into OT, the Owls were able to contain Tulane enough to grind out an 86-76 win in the second overtime.

 

Thank You Seniors:

For Dan Dingle, Mark Williams, and Mike Robbins, this was their last chance to ball out on Broad Street. Each of the seniors had considerably large games, and were all able to have a meaningful impact on the game. Mike Robbins, the walk on reserve, had a career high in minutes played with 22 minutes. He dropped 7 points (3-4 FG%) and grabbed 4 rebounds. Dan Dingle had a standard game, he contributed 13 points and had 8 rebounds. Dingle also played all of 3 minutes in the extended game. Mark Williams is the senior that shined. In his first start of the season, Williams went out firing. He led the Owls on the offensive for the majority of the game before fouling out in the second OT. He notched 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.

 

Shizz Still Sizzlin’:

It may have been senior day, but Shizz Alston still led all players on the court. The sophomore guard tapped in the put back that sent the game into its initial overtime. Alston recorded 25 points on the night, but he picked up 13 of those points in overtime alone. He also had 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 5 assists and no turnovers.

 

Too Close for Comfort:

Temple fans are getting too familiar with these close games. In Temple’s last 3 matchups they have all been decided by the final seconds of the game. Temple has had 12 games decided by 6 or less points, in addition to their 10-point victory over Tulane in double overtime. Both teams shot the ball exactly 76 times, but Temple was 40.8% from the field (31-76) while Tulane was only 30.3% (23-76). The Green Wave did have several chances to secure a win, especially from the free throw line. They went to the line 33 times, and 29 times in regulation alone. Temple went to the line only 20 times in the entirety of the game, making it to the line only 8 times in regulation.

 

Catch Them Next:

With an 86-76 victory, the Owls are now 6-11 in the AAC, and 15-15 overall. They are looking to continue this momentum into their last game against USF on Sunday March 5th at 2:00 pm.

Red Hot Huskies Take Down Temple 97-67

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The UConn Huskies have been hot for 96 straight games for a reason. They are efficient while being able to intimidate their opponents, when home and away. “Playing against UConn…they show you every night why they are great,” says Coach Cardoza. While most teams do not have the privilege to play the top team in the country, the Owls have been granted that luxury and burden to go against one of the most dominant dynasties in all of sports. Cardoza explains how, “…it is an incentive, we get to play on national television more than we’ve ever had, so that’s an incentive. People get to watch us on TV, and enjoy our style of play, so I love that my team gets to play against them…”

 (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

First Impressions Are Important:

To a lot of people, the game was over after the first half. Temple shot 23.5% from the field in the second quarter and 15.8% in the first, for a first half combination of 19.65%. The Huskies on the other hand shot 71.4% and 83.3% in the opening quarters of t
he game. Temple only had 8 made shots in the entire first half, including foul shots. UConn had 10 in the first quarter, not including their 5-6 from the free throw line. The Huskies were able to lock down on Temple’s leading scorer Feyonda Fitzgerald, whom averages 17 ppg, she was held to just 7 points (3-16 FG, 1-6 3PA).

 

Greatness Doesn’t Quit:

Despite struggling from all over in the first half, Temple came out fired up to start the second. Their shooting improved to 64.7% from the field, while UConn’s dropped to below 50%. The Owls won the third quarter 29-22, and responded with a combined 51 point second half to UConn’s 45 point second half. Head Coach of the UConn Huskies, Geno Auriemma, acknowledged their tenacity and said, “…it would have been easy to come out, down 30 at half time and lose by 6
5. They didn’t stop competing. They didn’t stop playing. They didn’t stop attacking us at both ends of the floor, and those kids play with a certain competitive spirit.”

 

Geno and Cardoza:

Cardoza and Coach Auriemma are by no means strangers. Cardoza coached under Auriemma for 14 seasons at the University of Connecticut, and helped lead the Huskies to five national titles. Auriemma praises Cardoza for her ability to win in a competitive city. He says, “When you look at their team, and you look at the way they play, and how hard they compete, and she’s won an awful lot of games here, and I think a big statement about Tonya [Cardoza] is the way their team played in the second half…and I think that’s a direct reflection on Tonya and her coaching staff.”

 

Catch Them Next:

The Owls are headed down South to take on The Tulane Green Wave on February 5th, tip-off is set for 2pm. The Owls are now 6-2 in the AAC, ranking no.3 under USF and UConn. They are looking to increase their 16-5 record to 17-5 overall this Sunday.

Another One Bites the Dust: Temple Falls 1-5 in the AAC

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After being picked to finish 6th in the conference in the 2015-2016 season, and then coming out as regular season champions, optimism is not far-fetched for Temple fans. However, Temple’s 2016-2017 start is not looking so optimistic. Temple is in a rut, and does not seem to know how to get out. They started conference play 0-3, and have lost five of their last 6 games.

 

DOWN TO THE WIRE:

Temple and Tulsa battled back and forth all game. Both teams held their share of the lead throughout the game, with no lead exceeding 8 points. In the last 4 minutes of the game, it was a deadlock at 68. Temple found themselves with the ball with 43 seconds left. After a timeout, they could not produce any offense out of their possession, giving Tulsa the ball with 14 seconds remaining. Fourteen seconds was all Tulsa needed for Sterling Taplin to drive the lane and lay it up
for 2. With just over 3 seconds left for the Owls to combat, Shizz Alston let off a long shot, a little prematurely, and it was no good. Another close battle for the Owls that they were not able to come out victorious.

 

Whizz Kid, Shizz Kid:

Although only 3 Temple players were able to score in double figures, Shizz Alsto
n was on a roll leading the way for all scorers. The sophomore point guard went 10-20 and 5-13 from the 3 to put together a new career high of 25 points. Obi Enechionyia followed with 15 points, and Dan Dingle contributing 14. Although Tempe shot the ball fairly decent, 44.6% from the field and 32.1% from behind the arc, Tulsa just shot better. The Hurricanes went 52.2% from the field, making up for going just 6-20 from the 3.

 

Free Throws Win Games:

The charity stripe is a place Temple has struggled from all season. Not only are they not very efficient from the line, but they struggle to even get there sometimes. The Owls went 69% from the foul line, and the Tulsa only shot 76%. However, Tulsa shot 21 free throws, and Temple only shot 13. With Temple shooting just
under 70% from the line in this matchup, going to the line another 8 times could have sealed a close victory.

 

CATCH THEM NEXT:

The Owls are back in action Wednesday January 18th, where they will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats once again at 7pm. Temple is hoping to increases to 2-5 in the AAC and 11-9 overall

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

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Credit USA Today Sports

After starting off conference play completely defeated (0-3), the Owls were itching for a win against ECU. After several games this season resulting in a Russian roulette style of which Owl would step up offensively, Temple was able to have five players score in double figures. The pirates did not have any players reach that margin. Dan Dingle led all scorers with 19 points, just under his career high. In addition to six assists and 3 steals. Quinton Rose followed with 14 points. Mark Williams and Ernest Aflakpui put up 13 points, and Aflakpui grabbed his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Obi Enechionyia rounded them out with 12 points.

Huge credit to the Owls offensive success goes to their field goal percentage of just over 53%. Temple went 65.4% from the field in the second half, which is their best single half performance so far this year. What really put the game away was the Owls crashing the boards. They outrebounded the Pirates 39-28, handedly outrebounding opponents is something the Owls have struggled with all year.

Despite ECU keeping it close in the first half, and within striking distance at the beginning of the second, Temple shot the lights out in the second half. Therefore, a come back victory on the road was not in the cards for the Pirates. Temple earned their first AAC victory 81-62.  Temple is now 1-3 in the AAC and 10-7 overall.

CATCH THEM NEXT:

The Owls are back in action January 11th where they will be making the trip up to Connecticut to take on (5-9, 0-3) UConn Huskies at 9pm.

Bearcats Claw Their Way to Victory 56-50 to Open AAC Play

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After Temple swept the Bearcats last season in upset fashion, Cincinnati was on the hunt get a win on Broad Street. Temple has been on a roll, upsetting 2 of the 3 top 25 teams they’ve faced. Of those three the team they fell to, a no.1 Villanova. Therefore, the Owls were looking to upset their third top 25 team, taking down 3 top 25s for back-back seasons. Not to mention this was the matchup to kick off AAC play for the Owls. Temple is picked to finish sixth in the American, same as last season; going against the Bearcats, project
ed to finish first. This would be Temple’s chance to prove that they are relevant in a competitive American Conference yet again, after winning the regular season title last year.

TURNOVER CITY:

Both of these teams pride themselves on stellar defense as well as doing a fairly decent job protecting the ball on offense. That was not the case on North Broad. Temple averages approximately 11 turnovers a game and Cincinnati averages 10, Temple turned the ball over 16 times against the Bearcats. The Bearcats did not do much better, turning the ball over 15
times. Shizz Alston, who is among the top in the conference for his assist to turnover ratio, turned the ball over 3 times to his 3 assists. Obi Enechionyia led all players with 4 turnovers.

STRUGGLING OFFENSE:

Temple leads the league in most three pointers made per game with 9, shooting roughly 40% from behind the arc, they shot less that 20% from deep against Cincy. They were not much better from th
e field at 26.7%. Cincinnati was unable to convert on the offensive end as well. They were 28% from the three and only 33% from the field. The parallels between these two offenses transferred to the free throw line. Temple shot 68% and Cincinnati 65%.

After going 1-11 from the field and scoring just 3 points against Yale, Obi Enechionyia continues to struggle offensively for the Owls. He put up only 7 points against the bearcats going 3-10 from the field and 0-5 from the three. Fortunately for the Owls Dan Dingle was able to keep them in the heart of the game offensively. Dingle led all Owls with 15 points, but his back-back turnovers in the final minute of the game was enough
to seal the deal for the Owls. Both teams were not able to get into a groove, and ultimately the bearcats clawed their way to a victory. Cincinnati defeats Temple 56-50.

CATCH THEM NEXT:

The Owl are headed down to Florida to take on UCF on New Years Eve at 4 pm. They will be looking to earn their 10th win of the season, they are currently 9-5 and 0-1 in the AAC.

Temple Escapes NJIT, 68-63

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This game was close from tip off to the final buzzer. This has been Temple’s eighth matchup settled by 6 or less points. The Owls are 4-4 in those close contests. Both teams hovered around the clock with narrow leads, neither team exceeding a 6-point lead.

 

TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK:

The wealth was evenly distributed for the Owls. Obi Enechionyia led all Temple scorers with 13 points, going 5-11 from the field. He also grabbed 8 rebounds and had 1 block. Enechionyia is coming out of rut, in Temple’s matchup against Villanova, the Owl’s leading scorer was held to a seas
on low of 8 points. That was the first game all season he was not able to score in double figures. Dan Dingle and Shizz Alston were also able to score in double digits. Shizz Alston continues to add to his exceptional assist/turnover ratio, which ranks 7th in the nation. He had 4 assists and 0 turnovers against NJIT. All 8 Owls that suited up were able to knock down at least 1 bucket. The team shot 41.8% from the field and 38.9% from 3. They also shot 83% from the free throw line, shot a total of 18 foul shots. They shot 6 foul shots against Nova, and only made 3.

NO “I” IN LYNN:

The Owls could not seem to stop Damon Lynn. He went 7-15 from the 3, and came dangerously close to surpassing most 3s made in one game at the Liacouras Center. Lynn led all scorers with 25 points, and added 3 rebounds, and 4 assists to his stat sheet. Tim Jenkins and Chris Coleman also had double figures, but the rest of NJIT’s roster had a combined 15 points. Because NJIT’s scoring was so concentrated, the Owls were able to dominate in transition. They outscored the Highlanders 13-0 in transition points.

 

CATCH THEM NEXT:

Temple is now 8-4, and will take on Yale at the Liacouras Center Thursday December 22nd, at 7 p.m.  That will be the Owls last non-conference matchup before they kick of AAC action against Cincinnati.

Temple Falls to No.1 Villanova: 78-57.

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Temple has been a team that is notorious for being unpredictable. They lose to teams they outmatch on paper, and then upset top 25 teams out of nowhere. They defy the logic of basketball every season, so naturally entertaining a no.1 upset idea is not that far fetched. In Temple’s matchup against no. 1 Villanova, that upset dream quickly turned into a nightmare for Temple fans. Neither team could buy a bucket in the first half. For the majority of the first half, Temple and Nova had a combined shooting percentage of less than 50% from the field. Both of these teams’ average over 40% from the field on the season, and both teams ended the first half well under 40% from the field. Temple shot 25% from the field and the three, and Nova shot 34.6% from the field and 28.6% from the three. In the second half Temple improved to shooting over 40% from all over. Villanova also improved shooting 57% from the field and 54.5% from behind the arc in the second half.

 

FOUL SHOTS:

Not only did Villanova pick up their field and perimeter shooting, they were able to maintain their exceptional free throw percentage. They did not just shoot 90% from the charity stripe, they made it a point to get to the free throw line. They were able to score 18 points with no time on the clock because they shot 20 foul shots…Temple shot 6. Not only did Temple only shoot 6 foul shots, they only made 3. A huge reason Villanova was able to execute from the line is because Temple fouled more than twice as much as Nova. The Owls ended with 22 fouls, the Wildcats had 10.

 

T FOR TEMPLE TURNOVER:

Temple is a team that prides itself on taking care of the bal

Courtesy: USA Today

l. Heading into the game they averaged just over 11 turnovers per game. That includes the West Virginia game when they had 19 turnovers against WVU’s daunting full court press, and still the Owls prevailed in that matchup. Temple turned the ball over 18 times against the Wildcats. One third of those turnovers came from the back bone of the Temple offense, Obi Enechionyia. Temple’s turnovers allowed Villanova to score in transition, a lot. The Wildcats racked up 12 points from fast break opportunities, Temple scored 0 points off of fast break opportunities.

 

HART AND SOUL:

While Temple was struggling from all over, Villanova just seemed to have more hart. Josh Hart that is. The senior guard dropped 26 points, shooting over 51% from the field. The Owls initially had Hart locked up, after coming off a career high of 37 points against Notre Dame, he only recorded 2 points in the first half against the Owls. He quickly heated up from the floor in the second half, and proceeded to score 24 points. Hart was not the only Wildcat that was able to put the ball in the basket. The Wildcats had four players score in double figures. Temple only had two, and leading scorer, Obi Enechionyia, was not one of them.

 

CATCH THEM NEXT:

Temple is now 3-1 in the Big 5 and 7-4 overall. They are set to take on NJIT Saturday December 17th, at 2:00 pm at the Liacouras Center.

 

Temple Weathers the Storm in Miami: 74-65 Win Over DePaul

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What was seemingly a run away game for the Owls, quickly turned into the Owls running for their lives, trying to maintain their lead over DePaul. A lead that extended to as large as 25 in the second half. The Owls came into the second half in a daze. DeP
aul went on an 18-3 run to cut the lead all the way down to 7. They were able to cut it all the way down to 5 with under two minutes to play. Temple’s strong veteran play from Obi Enechionyia and Dan Dingle was not present in the final crucial minutes of the game. Enechionyia only scored 1 point in the last 11 minutes of the game, going 1-2 from the foul line. Enechionyia did still lead all Owl scorers, along side Shizz Alston with 15 points. Obi ended 7 rebounds and 1 assists, and Shizz Alston grabbed 7 rebounds and had 2 assists.

THE CHARITY STRIPE:

A huge advantage to the Owl’s game is their efficiency from the free throw line. Temple averages 13 made foul shots per game, and shoot roughly 70% from the line. They were able to go 80% from the line against DePaul, going 25-31. DePaul picked up their shooting from the free throw line in the second half. Temple at one point was 19-22, while DePaul was 19-27. DePaul took advantage of their foul shots late in the second half, and ended almost identical to Temple going 24-32.

CONNECTIVITY STRUGGLES:

Temple has typically run a seven-man roster throughout this season. Fran Dunphy opened the bench up and played a total of 10 players in their late morning matchup. Josh Brown and Damion Moore both recorded their season starter debuts. Damion Moore started over Ernest Aflakpui and Josh Brown reclaimed his point guard position over Alani Moore II. Brown held a serious impact over Temple’s dominance throughout the majority of the game. He fouled out with about half of the second half left to play. He scored 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists, and 7 steals. The connectivity of the team struggled when he fouled ou
t. Leaders like Obi and Dan Dingle seemed frazzled with the absence of Brown once again, and without the Alani Moore, who was seen nursing what seems to be an ankle injury. The veteran that did step up for the Owls was Mike Robbins. The senior walk on who has recorded minimal minutes over his career at Temple. He only scored 8 points, but he went 100% (3-3) from the field and 1-2 from the foul line. In the final minutes of the game he had a pivotal block, and a crucial defensive rebound that helped the Owls grind out a victory.

CATCH THEM NEXT:

The Owls are still on a role despite only being on a 1 game win streak. They have won 6 of their last 7 contests. They are back in action Tuesday December 13th, at 7:00 pm for their last Big 5 matchup of the season. Temple will be looking to upset no.1 Villanova at Villanova. This will be the second consecutive time that the Owls will be taking on the Wildcats when the Wildcats are top of the college basketball rankings.