Owls Stunned by the Huskies

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The frustration and disappointment continued Sunday afternoon for the Temple Owls as they lost to the UConn Huskies 64-63 thanks a Jalen Adams layup with 2.9 seconds to go.

Temple lead for nearly 36 minutes in their 6th annual “White Out” game, but came away with the loss which evens their record at 14-14 overall and 5-10 in the American Athletic Conference.

In the first half of this nationally televised game, the Cherry and White’s offense was firing on all cylinders as they shot 44% from the floor. Senior Dan Dingle and sophomore Shizz Alston Jr. did a bulk of the scoring as the duo scored 12 and 9 respectively in the first twenty minutes. The Owls consistently held a small lead within the first half, with the largest lead being 6 points, and they took a 35-29 lead into intermission.

The crowd of 8,702 were left screaming for Moore and Moore buckets to start the second half. Freshmen Alani Moore II and center Damion Moore catapulted the Temple offense as they scored the first 14 points for Temple in the second half. Damion Moore, who was starting his third consecutive game, reached a new career high in points with 11 due to his scoring explosion in the beginning of the half.

With the Moores leading the way for Temple, it took the entire UConn squad to step up their game and stay within striking distance. As Alani and Damion were scoring, so were UConn’s Jalen Adams, Rodney Purvis and Kentan Facey. Temple’s lead got to as low as 1 point early in the second half as UConn shot 54.2% from the floor, but Dan Dingle was giving his best effort to come away with a huge AAC win.

Dingle’s scoring led the Owls in the first half, then it was his rebounding and passing in the second. The senior finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. All three of those marks led the game on Sunday, the last time an Owl led his team in points, rebounds, and assists was on March 6, 2013 by Khalif Wyatt. But it was a missed free throw by Dingle that ended up changing the course of the game.

The Owls built up a solid 10 point lead with 8:29 remaining at 56-46, but UConn stormed back with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 1 once again. UConn’s Rodney Purvis led the Huskies’ run with eight of those points, and he finished with 18 points and 5 assists on the day.

It all came down to the final minute.

On a crazy Owls possession that included two offensive rebounds, Shizz Alston grabbed that second board and looked to throw it to Dan Dingle, who would then burn out some clock with Temple up by three. UConn’s Jalen Adams picked off the pass as he read Alston perfectly and then was fouled on the ensuing possession as he tried to slam one home. Adams knocked down a pair to cut it to 1.

Then on Temple’s possession, Dan Dingle was fouled on a reach-in, and headed to the line. Dingle took one dribble, one spin, and a moment to gather, and his free throw rimmed out. After a UConn timeout, head coach Kevin Ollie diagramed a pick-and-roll for Jalen Adams, who drove to his left and threw up the shot. On the glass and in with 2.9 to go. With Temple having no timeouts left, Shizz Alston’s near halfcourt prayer fell short and UConn escaped with the one-point win. 64-63.

This was the second time Temple lost an AAC on their home floor on a last second layup as they lost to Tulsa in January in familiar fashion.

The Owls will try and bounce back Wednesday night when the face the monstrous Tacko Fall and the UCF Knights. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm.

 

Rose Leads the Owls in His First Career Start

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Temple’s head coach Fran Dunphy decided to switch things up for the Owls’ road game at Memphis. The Owls started the veterans Shizz Alston Jr., Daniel Dingle and Obi Enechionyia, but surprised everyone when he inserted freshmen Damion Moore and Quinton Rose.

Dunphy’s decision to dip into the fountain of youth paid off as Damion Moore provided a much-needed post presence and Quinton Rose ignited the Temple offense in their 74-62 win against the Memphis Tigers.

In Damion Moore’s second career start, he posted 6 points and 8 rebounds in his 15 minutes and Quinton Rose recorded a team-high 18 points as he knocked down 4 of his 5 three-point attempts.

Early in Sunday afternoon’s contest, it looked like Temple’s road woes would continue against the 3rd ranked team in the American Athletic Conference. The AAC’s second leading scorer, Dedric Lawson, dominated with 7 points in the first 4 minutes, and the Temple offense lacked any sort of flow.

The tables turned at the 11:43 mark with the Owls trailing 23-14.

In a little less than a dozen minutes, the Owls put on a beautiful scoring display and completely shut down Dedric Lawson and the Memphis Tigers. They went on a 25-2 run to take a 14-point lead heading into halftime.

The 25-2 surge was led by sophomore Shizz Alston Jr., who recorded 10 points over that stretch, including a three-pointer as time expired in the first half. The Owls shot 57% from the field with their 17 for 30 shooting clinic and all eight Owls that saw action in the first half scored at least one bucket. On the defensive end, the Tigers could not buy a bucket as they made 1 of the last 13 field goal attempts to end the first half.

The Tigers clawed back into the game in the second half as they switched up their defense and applied a full court press. The full-court pressure did not force turnovers, as the Owls finished with 19 assists to 10 turnovers, but it seemed the break that fantastic offensive flow the Cherry and White showed late in the first half.

Temple was held to only 9 made field goals in the second half, and while the Owls attempted all twenty of their free throws in the second half, they only sunk 12 of them.

In what was at one point a 19-point Temple lead, Memphis went on an 14-1 run of their own and cut the deficit to as low as four at 56-52 with 7:05 remaining.

The Owls outscored the Tigers 18-10 in the final 7 minutes to put the game on ice. Of those final 18 points, 9 came from the charity stripe as Temple shot 9-12 from the line during this stretch and the other 9 points came from behind the arc. Quinton Rose cashed two threes in the last seven minutes and then Obi Enechionyia nailed the dagger from the corner with 33 seconds to go.

Enechionyia posted 10 points (3/8 from behind the arc) and 6 rebounds. Senior captain Dan Dingle had 13 points and tied his career high with seven assists.

The victory was the Owls’ third win in a true road game, and it improves their record to 14-12.

The Owls will be back in action Wednesday night against the East Carolina Pirates. The Pirates, at 3-9 in the AAC, sit in 9th place in the conference. This matchup could potentially be the same matchup the Owls have in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament in Connecticut. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm and the game will air on ESPNNews.

 

 

Owls Stay Afloat in the AAC, Sink the Green Wave

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With the Owls on the brink of joining the cellar of the American Athletic Conference standings, freshman Quinton Rose and the Temple Owls went on a second-half surge to secure their first conference road win at Tulane 79-71.

In a first half that saw 7 ties and 5 lead changes, the Owls headed into the locker room all tied at 34 apiece despite their poor rebounding performance. Tulane’s center Ryan Smith, who had 11 points and 5 offensive rebounds, and forward Sammis Reyes, 9 points and 7 boards, dominated the glass with Temple’s Ernest Aflakpui stuck on the bench early on. Tulane’s 11 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points in the first half kept them in the game against the Owls that shot 51% from the floor.

The second-half surge for the Cherry and White was led by Quinton Rose. The Rochester, NY product finished the night with 18 points and 9 rebounds, including 5 for 6 from the free throw line. Rose used his superior quickness from the second he entered the game to get into the paint and used his athleticism to finish around the rim.

Obi Enechionyia knocked down a three-pointer and Shizz Alston Jr. swished a few free throws to generate a 10-2 run early in the second half to give the Owls some breathing room at 48-40.

Enechionyia looked like his old self Tuesday night with 13 points on 5 for 8 shooting, but he struggled with foul trouble in his 27 minutes played. Shizz Alston Jr, the Owls new leading scorer, struggled with foul trouble as

Owls Fall to Houston 79-66
Enechionyia posts 13 points in the win

well. Alston scored 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds before he fouled out in the final minutes of play.

 

With 6:45 left in the game, Quinton Rose threw a cross-court fastball to Ernest Aflakpui for the layup and the Owls took their largest lead of the game at 13, but the Green Wave would not quit. Tulane’s Cameron Reynolds scored 5 straight points to make the score 67-61, then with the score at 69-63, Reynolds hit a three pointer to trim the Owls’ lead to 3. That was the closest that Tulane got to a comeback, but the redshirt-junior still had a game-high 29 points in defeat.

The number 70 continues to be the magic number for Temple. In games when the Owls put up more than 70 points, they are 11-1, with that one loss coming to the AAC’s strongest team in the Cincinnati Bearcats.

As far as the American Athletic Conference standings, the Owls still sit in 8th place at 3-7, but they still have a great opportunity to climb the standings and assert themselves with the AAC’s best.

Of the Owls 8 remaining games, 4 of them come against South Florida (twice), East Carolina and Tulane. Those three programs have a combined 3 AAC victories. Along with the Owls four matchups with the worst teams in the AAC, they face UCONN and Central Florida, the two teams right ahead of TU in the AAC standings. Those two games are great opportunities to gain even more ground as both games will be at the Liacouras Center.

Catch the Owls in action next this Sunday, February 5th as they face USF. Sunday’s game is at the Liacouras Center and tipoff is scheduled for 1 pm and will be televised on CSN.

Owls Fall to Houston 79-66

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Photo Courtesy of Owl Sports
Photo Courtesy of Owl Sports

The road woes continued for Temple Saturday night as they were defeated by the Houston Cougars 79-66.

The Owls trailed early and often throughout the contest. The only Temple lead came when Obi Enechionyia knocked down a three pointer on the Owls’ first possession to make it 3-0, but Houston controlled the rest of the night behind huge games from Rob Gray and Damyean Dotson.

Damyean Dotson put up his seventh double-double of the year in a 20 point and 10 rebound effort. Rob Gray, the AAC’s leading scorer, racked up 28 points as he shot 3-4 from behind the arc and a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line to lead the extremely efficient Houston offense. The Cougars rank 1st in free throw percentage and 2nd in 3-point percentage in the American Athletic Conference and stayed true to form as they shot 46% from the floor and 86% at the free-throw line in their win.

For Temple, Obi Enechionyia put in a performance that looked similar to the Obi that propelled the Owls’ 5 game win streak early in the season as he scored 16 points on 4-9 shooting from three and grabbed 7 rebounds. The junior was only averaging 9.9 points per game in AAC play and was struggling mightily from behind the arc after his stellar nonconference showing where he recorded 20+ points 5 times within the first seven games.

Freshman Quinton Rose provided a spark off the bench with 9 first-half points in only 9 minutes of play, but then shot 1 for 5 in the second half and finished with 11. The Jekyll and Hyde season continues for the Rochester, NY native. While Rose’s athleticism and effort on the court this season has been a mainstay, it is his inconsistent shooting and ability to take care of the ball that gets him stuck to the bench at times. Q Rose is shooting 26% from three this season, but in games when Rose swishes at least one trey, the Owls are 7-2. As far as the ball security, Rose has more turnover (44) than assists (38) this year.

Senior captain Dan Dingle remains a model of consistency and did the same in Saturday night’s loss. Dingle posted 15 points, 3 boards and 3 assists. This was the 11th time in the last 12 games in which #4 has recorded double-digits in scoring.

With the loss the Owls’ record in true road games has fallen to 1-7 with that one victory coming within the city of Philadelphia when they beat St. Joseph’s 78-72 in late November. Oddly enough, Temple has had a couple of their most impressive wins on neutral courts, when they defeated West Virginia and Florida State at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but they can seem to get on the winning end when playing at somebody else’s gymnasium.

The Owls have a great opportunity to get that second road win of the 2016-2017 season next game when they travel to New Orleans to face Tulane. Tulane has had a miserable season with a 4-17 overall record and a 1-8 record within the AAC. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 pm and the game can be viewed on ESPNNews.

Sizzlin’ Shizz Leads the Way as the Owls End Their Skid

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While the Owls have had some extreme highs and extreme lows throughout the 2016-2017 campaign, the one thing that remains constant is the solid play of point guard Shizz Alston.

For the third consecutive game Alston took control of the Owls’ offense with 20+ points. His effort Wednesday night was good enough for the 77-66 victory against the University of Memphis, which put a stop to Temple’s three game losing skid.

The sophomore from Philadelphia has made great strides in his second year wearing the Cherry and the White. When Alston Jr. was a freshman he posted 63 points the entire season. During Shizz’s recent three-game scoring spree, he has racked up 72. Along with Alston’s improvement as a scorer, he continues to protect the basketball as good as anyone. His 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks second in the American Athletic Conference.

The first half of Temple’swin saw the Owls and Memphis Tigers trade buckets and go on runs of their own, but only to end up where they started, with a 30-30 tie at the intermission. Temple struggled early on as they turned the ball over 3 out of their first 4 possessions, but they quickly shook off the rust from their week long break thanks to the play of captain Dan Dingle. Dingle knocked down a couple of three-balls to kick-start the scoring and finished the half with 8 points.

As the Owls were about to head into the locker room down by 2 points, freshman Alani Moore intercepted a pass and pulled up from behind the three-point line. Moore missed the shot, but he grabbed the offensive board and threw a pass down low to fellow frosh Quinton Rose as he threw in the contested layup as time expired.

Coming off a little momentum from the stellar play by Rose and Moore, the Owls, particularly Shizz Alston, started knocking down some shots. After an Ernest Aflakpui layup, Shizz Alston channeled his inner Reggie Miller and posted 8 points between the 19:04 and 18:09 marks in the second half. Alston sandwiched a couple of three balls with a steal and a layup in traffic to generate a 10-2 Owls run and create a safe cushion throughout the second half.

Alston totaled another 5 after his individual 8-0 run to finish with 13 in the second half and 22 points and 5 boards in the win, but it was the captains that sealed the deal. Seniors Dan Dingle and Mark Williams (who was celebrating his birthday) scored 15 of the final 20 points for Temple, including a combined 10-11 from the foul line on the evening, to cap off that elusive second conference victory. Temple is 3-1 on the season when Williams and Dingle score double digits. Williams scored a season high 15 points along with 4 boards and 4 assists and Dan Dingle had 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Temple’s second AAC win bumps the Owls in the 8th spot in the standings with their 2-6 record, and their road ahead is no walk in the park. The Owls will spend some time away from North Broad as they travel to Houston to face the Cougars (formally known as Phi Slamma Jamma in the 1980s) on Saturday night at 10 pm and then will stop in New Orleans to take on the Tulance Green Wave to following Tuesday.

 

Obi Struggles, Owls Fall to UConn 73-59

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Amida Brimah skies to reject Enechionyia, one of his six blocks on the night (Credit: Qaud City Times)

In a matchup between two AAC teams that were desperate for their second conference win, the Temple Owls lost to the UConn Huskies 73-59 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT.

Temple and UConn have rich basketball traditions but the two programs have not had hot starts to their American Athletic Conference play. Coming in, they both had only won one of their first conference battles. With the threat of falling to 1-4 in AAC play, UConn dominated the paint on both sides of the floor in the win thanks to great performances from senior forward Kenton Facey and rim-protector Amida Brimah.

The 6-foot-10 Kenton Facey posted a career high 23 points, on 9/11 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double, and blocked two shots on defense.

Amida Brimah, who has blocked more than 300 shots while at UConn, denied six shots tonight and added in 13 points in only 26 minutes of play.

The two men down low were responsible for 8 of the Huskies’ 9 blocks, and led them a 52.8% shooting night where the team only had to make four three-pointers in order to put up 73 points on the night. UConn (7-9, 2-3) out-rebounded the smaller and much younger Owls 40 to 31.

Along with the stellar play of the Huskies big-men, sophomore guard Jalen Adams posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 assists.

The Huskies jumped out to an early 22-9 lead and never looked back on Wednesday night. The UConn lead was consistently double-digits throughout the contest, and they were up by as much as 14 in the first half until Temple’s Dan Dingle cashed a three-pointer as time expired in the first-half.

The Owls made a slight run of their own in the middle of the second half as they cut the UConn lead to 7, at a score of 55-48, but a few layups by the Huskies bounced the lead back up and over double digits as Temple continued to leave the paint wide open.

For Temple, three players recorded double digit scoring. Senior captains Daniel Dingle and Mark Williams had 10 apiece and point guard Shizz Alston Jr. had 13 points and 6 assists. The Owl’s leading scorer, junior Obi Enechionyia, had a night one would love to forget as he put up 7 points on 3 of 17 shooting, and 1 of 10 from behind the arc.

Also, freshman Damion Moore saw action as sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui got into early foul trouble. In Moore’s 7 minutes on the court he went a perfect 3 for 3 to get a career-high 6 points.

The Owls have a 1-5 record in true away games this season.

Between the absence of senior Josh Brown, freshman Quinton Rose and Alani Moore showing signs of slowing down, and the inconsistent shooting of Obi Enechionyia, Temple’s back-to-back wins against Top-25 teams are in the distant past.

The Owls will need to see more production from the young guards like Shizz Alston

Brown, who was coming off an Achilles injury, has not played since December 13th. The senior was averaging 7 points on 52% shooting, 2 rebounds and 2 assists per game. In Brown’s absence, the Owls have gone 3-4. With no Josh Brown, the Owls then looked to freshmen Quinton Rose and Alani Moore to pick up the slack. Rose and Moore played well and avoided typical freshmen mistakes early in the season, but the pair has struggled as of late. Moore has averaged 5 points on 26% shooting in AAC play and Rose has averaged 8 points on 36% shooting. In the loss to UConn, Rose had 1 point in 21 minutes play and Moore went 2/9 from the floor with six points.

With no Brown and the subpar play of the freshmen guards, the pressure has all gone to Obi Enechionyia to put the ball in the basket. The junior from Springfield, VA cannot have shooting nights like the one he had at UConn if the Owls want to make a run into March this season.

The non-conference season brought some fantastic wins that will look great for a March Madness resume. The Cherry and White took down top-ranked teams in Florida State and West Virginia at the Barclays Center, finished second in Big 5 play with their only loss to then #1 Villanova, and beat the Big East’s DePaul and the Yale Bulldogs, last years Ivy League champions.

With a 1-4 conference record, which puts the Owls in 9th place out of 11 teams, Temple will need to turn it around quickly so their excellent non=conference resume does not go to waste.

One key for the Owls is is shooting. When the Owls are above 40%, they are 9-1. When below, a brutal 1-7. Temple ranks 23rd in the country in turnovers, with only 11 per game.

The Owls will be back in action on Saturday, January 14th against Tulsa. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 o’clock at the Liacouras Center and the game will air on ESPNNews.

Collins Begins Forming His New Staff

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After watching the Owls suffer a 34-26 defeat to Wake Forest in the Military Bowl, new head coach Geoff Collins quickly turned the page on another historic season for Temple football and began the difficult challenge of forming his coaching staff.

So far, there are two newcomers to the Temple football program as Dave Patenaude has been hired as the offensive coordinator and David Feeley was hired to be the head strength and conditioning coach for the Owls.

The offensive coordinator position was one of the biggest hires Collins, a defensive-minded coach, had to make. Dave Patenaude has been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the last 5 seasons for Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers, who make most of their noise on the baseball diamond, posted a 10-2 record in 2016 behind an stellar offense that posted over 37 points and 380 yards per game. Before Patenaude’s time at Coastal, he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Georgetown University. Patenaude has also coached at several universities in the northeast like Holy Cross, New Haven (Conn), Fordham, Columbia, and Hofstra. At Hofstra, Patenaude coached Bryant Savage, the brother of Houston Texans’ quarterback Tom Savage.

David Feeley is the new head strength and conditioning coach. Feeley is coming from the University of South Carolina where he held the same position for one season. Back in 2010, Feeley and Geoff Collins coached together at Florids International University. At FIU, Collins was the defensive coordinator and Feeley the strength and conditioning coach. The two coaches helped lead the FIU Panthers to a victory in the Little Cesar’s Pizza Bowl.

Three familiar faces from the 2016 offensive coaching staff will return, but their positions have yet to be announced.

Ed Foley, who coached the Owls in their bowl game, will be back for the Cherry and White in 2017. Foley has been apart of the Temple football program under three different head coaches (Al Golden, Steve Addazio, and Matt Rhule) and has manned a plethora of positions on the offensive side of the ball. While at Temple, Foley has been the assistant head coach, tight ends coach, assistant offensive line coach, and director of football operations. The Cherry Hill, NJ native has been a mainstay for a Temple football program that has had so much turnover in the last decade as the Owls worked their way from one of the worst teams in Division 1 football to the American Athletic Conference champions that have been ranked in each of the last two seasons.

The other two offensive assistants returning are Frisman Jackson and Chris Wiesehan. Jackson has been the Wide Receivers coach at five different division 1 schools (including at Temple for 2 years) and was also the passing game coordinator for the Owls in 2016. Jackson played wide receiver at Western Illinois and then spent six seasons in the NFL where he played for the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. In Jackson’s first season as the wide recievers coach he worked hard with senior Robbie Anderson, who was not even with the team the year before, and Anderson had nearly 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns to earn a NFL contract with the New York Jets. This season, Temple’s receiving corps, highlighted by Ventell Bryant and Keith Kirkwood, made huge strides throughout the season and have some very promising talent returning for 2017 season.

Chris Wiesehan has coached at Temple for three seasons, coaching the offensive line in 2014 and 2015 and then the running backs and serving as the senior offensive assistant in 2016. Wiesehan has coached all around the country for the last 22 seasons, making stops at Univ. of Hawaii, the Canadian Football League, and several other division 1 football programs. Wiesehan’s experience and great knowledge for the offensive side of the ball made this a no-brainer for Geoff Collins to ask him to return to the Owls.

While the Temple coaching staff is beginning to round out, head coach Geoff Collins needs to fill the vacancies on the defensive side of the ball. Three defensive coaches, including defensive coordinator Phil Snow have already announced that they will be on Waco next season as parts of former Temple head coach Matt Rhule’s coaching staff.

Game Preview: Temple Takes on Defending Champs for Big 5 Title

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

The Temple Owls and the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats will square off at The Pavilion on Tuesday, December 13th in a winner-take-all matchup as the victor will be awarded this year’s Big 5 crown.

Not only are the Villanova Wildcats (10-0) the defending national champions and the #1 ranked team in the country, they also have won the last three Big 5 titles and are currently on a 17-game win streak in Big 5 matchups. In fact, the senior class for the Wildcats which includes leading scorer Josh Hart, last year’s title game hero Kris Jenkins, and big man Darryl Reynolds has not lost a single game against a Big 5 rival. Along with their impressive Big 5 resume, Villanova’s senior class has not lost a game played at The Pavilion and are 39-0 at their on-campus arena.

The Owls (7-3) have not won the Big 5 title outright since their magical 2009-2010 season (they shared with St. Joe’s in ’11-’12 and La Salle in ’12-’13) and are looking to knock off their 8th Top 10 team during Fran Dunphy’s ten-year rein as the Owls head coach. There is not a single player on Temple’s roster that has beaten the Wildcats as their last win against ‘Nova dates back to December 2012.

“You have to play your best basketball game, there’s no other way around it.” said Coach Dunphy at a press conference Monday afternoon when he was asked about trying to take down the top-ranked Wildcats.

Villanova has shown they are one of the most complete teams in the country en route to their undefeated start. Behind Josh Hart, who is coming off a career-high 37 points in their last win against Notre Dame, the Wildcats offense is rated the second in adjusted offensive efficiency in the country by Pomeroy. Hart is averaging 19.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game as the Wildcats are putting up an average of 80.2 points per contest.

Along with the experienced Josh Hart, the Cats have gotten a lot of production from Kris Jenkins, sophomore Jalen Brunson, and 6’7 sophomore Mikal Bridges. The seniors Hart and Jenkins, Brunson, and Bridges are responsible for 70% of the points scored and will continue to carry the load with the Wildcats missing a couple of key contributors.

Freshman Omari Spellman was declared academically ineligible in late September and junior guard Phil Booth will be sidelined for a few more weeks with a knee injury. With the two impactful losses, the Wildcats have stayed with a seven-man rotation throughout the season.

The last game was Villanova’s toughest test as they overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat then 23rd-ranked Notre Dame 74-66 in Newark, NJ. The Wildcats will have to play well throughout the evening to avoid the upset against a streaky but dangerous Temple Owls.

“I’ve never beat them (Villanova) since I have been here, so I would love to beat them my senior year” said captain Josh Brown on Monday afternoon.

Many thought Josh Brown would not be seeing the court this season after the senior suffered an Achilles injury this May, but the point guard has made an incredible comeback and returned to the Owls rotation back on November 30th in a win at St. Joe’s. Brown has made a major impact by averaging 7.5 points and little more than 2 rebounds and assists per game while shooting 58% from the field and provides veteran leadership, which the Owls will desperately need to come out of The Pavilion with a win.

Along with the huge role Josh Brown has played, the Owls will look to junior Obi Enechionyia and sophomore Shizz Alston Jr. to carry to workload on offense.

Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose have been pleasant surprises for the Owls this season and deserve a ton of credit for their 7-3 start. Alston is the second leading scorer with 12.6 points per game and has done a tremendous job manning the point guard position as Josh Brown continues to get back into playing shape. Alston Jr. has 46 assists to only 10 turnovers on the season, and that assist to turnover ratio is seventh in the country.

The 6’10 Enechionyia is a walking-matchup problem for opponents and has done it all for the Owls. Enechionyia’s 18.6 points 7.7 rebounds and nearly 3 blocks per game leads the team. Enechionyia has exploded twice on the road this season with two 26 point performances (at UMass and at St. Joe’s), but has run into a bit of a rough patch in the last few games. Obi has shot 34% from the field the last three contests compared to his 51.3% clip before that stretch.  The play of Obi will make or break Temple’s chances off knocking off the defending national champions.

As one can expect from all Big 5 games, this matchup between the Owls and Wildcats will be a physical and emotional one and will be played in front of a packed gymnasium with passionate fans cheering on ‘Nova and the Cherry and the White respectively.

Tomorrow’s game will tip-off at 7p.m. and can be viewed on Fox Sports 1.

 

Owls Late Surge Falls Short, Loses to George Washington

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The Temple Owls could not find an offensive rhythm until it was too late in their 66-63 loss to George Washington on Wednesday night. In the first half, the Owls found open looks within George Washington’s 2-3 zone but simply could not buy a bucket as they shot 10 of 25 from within the arc. Obi Enechionyia led the charge during the first twenty minutes with 10 points, and 5 other Owls scored, but George Washington’s Tyler Cavanaugh and Co. controlled the boards and the pace of the game a took a 6 point lead into intermission.

The George Washington Colonials opened up the second half with a 10-3 run to gain a 41-28 lead at the 16:06 mark. Freshman Alani Moore took over the Owls’ offense with 3 three-pointers within the first seven minutes, but George Washington’s Collin Smith and Jordan Roland were too much for the Owls to handle. Smith had 11 points and 7 boards and Roland recorded 14 points and 4 rebounds throughout the night. The George Washington lead climbed to as much as 15 in the game.

The Owls’ top scorer Obi Enechionyia recorded his fifth and final foul with 3:41 remaining and Temple down by 8. George Washington’s Tyler Cavanaugh hit two free throws to put the Colonials up 10 and the battle at the Liacouras Center seemed to find its victor. But Daniel Dingle and the rest of the Owls would not go down without a fight.

With the score at 61-52, senior Josh Brown hit his second three ball of the night to trim the deficit to 6. Then, Daniel Dingle channeled his inner Steph Curry and knocked down threes ball on two straight possessions to tie it all up at 61 apiece. Tyler Cavanaugh took over the game for George Washington though as he knocked down a pair of free throws and then hit a contested fade-away three-pointer as the shotclock expired to regain the lead at 66-63 with 7 seconds remaining. Daniel Dingle had one more clean look at the basket but his three-attempt clanked off the iron and Temple’s 5 game win streak was snapped.

Daniel Dingle, SportsDesk’s Player of the Game, had 14 points and 7 assists. He led the Cherry and White in scoring for the first time this season. 9 of the 11 points scored by Alani Moore came from behind the arc. The freshman guard is 7 for 10 from behind the arc in the last two games. Senior Josh Brown played a season high 24 minutes and racked up 10 points, 2 assists and 0 turnovers.

Obi Enechionyia, the Owls leading scorer at 19 points per game, has struggled the last two games. Enechionyia has posted 12 points in each of the last two games after his hot start. The junior has 26 threes on the year, but has only taken 20 free throws in 9 games.

The Owls will look to get back to their winning ways as they travel to Miami, FL to face DePaul in the Miami Hoophall Invitational. Tip-off is at 11:30 AM and the game can be watched on ESPNU.

 

 

 

 

 

#24 Owls Heading to the Military Bowl

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Phillip Walker celebrates after winning Most Outstanding Player of the game. // Credit: CSN Philly
Phillip Walker celebrates after winning Most Outstanding Player of the game. // Credit: CSN Philly

The Owls are making their second consecutive bowl appearance and have the opportunity to win 11 games for the first time in program history, a feat they could not reach last season after losing to Houston 24-13 in the AAC Championship then Toledo 32-17 in the Boca Raton Bowl to finish 2015.

This year, the Owls have played their best football at the end of the season. The Cherry and the White have won seven straight, including the 34-10 trouncing of Navy in the AAC Championship game on Saturday, and are currently ranked 24th in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Temple’s appearance in the Military Bowl means that they will be heading to the same stadium where they beat Navy to capture the AAC title. Head Coach Matt Rhule noted in a press conference on Sunday afternoon that the fact that Annapolis is so close to Philadelphia is a good thing since fans can attend the bowl game, and the game is taking place right in the region where the Owls recruit high school prospects.

The Owl’s opponent, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, will be a huge underdog in the game. After starting the season 4-0, the Deacs have gone 2-6 since and have dropped their last three contests. Head Coach Dave Clawson has done a good job turning around the program after posting a 3-9 record the last two seasons. Wake Forest has not appeared in a bowl game since the 2011 Music City Bowl, where they lost to Mississippi State 23-17, and have a career 6-4 record in bowl game.

The Military Bowl provides a great opportunity for the Temple Owls to send off their seniors in a great way as they face a team from a “Power 5 Conference”. Quarterback Phillip Walker, the most outstanding player in the AAC Championship game, along with exceptional seniors Dion Dawkins, Jahad Thomas, and Haason Reddick will be wearing the Cherry and the White for the final time. The 20 wins over the past two seasons is a Temple football record, and record has come thanks to the contributions by a talented senior class. This is the first time these seniors will face an ACC opponent, with the last ACC matchup coming all the way back in 2012 against Maryland.

The Military Bowl has been played every year since 2008. RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. was the original host of the bowl game, but was switched to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2013. The Military Bowl is sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

The Military Bowl will kickoff on December 27th at 3:30 pm on ESPN.