#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 Edges St. Joseph’s in Big 5 Matinee

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On a snowy Saturday afternoon in North Philadelphia, Big 5 basketball tipped off once again as the Owls (5-2) took on the Hawks (4-4).

Temple was able to withstand St. Joeseph’s late surge to earn an 81-78 win over their Big 5 foe.

Temple came into the game after having beaten Wisconsin this past Wednesday, for the Hawks, they came in after a blowout loss to No. 4 Villanova last week.

Early on in the contest, St. Joe’s went on an early 17-2 run jumping out to a 17-8 lead. But Temple would respond quickly with a 10-0 run of their own to retake the lead.

After trading baskets back and forth, Temple would go on yet another run, this time 12-0 getting some separation. The run was highlighted by a thunderous put-back dunk by Quinton Rose.

At the half, Temple led 40-29, ending the half on an impressive 17-3 run. Shizz Alston led all scorers with 15, shooting 4-5 from 3-point land.

In the second half, Temple was able to withstand minor St. Joe’s runs to keep them at arm’s length. With 10 minutes to go in the game, Temple held a 10-point lead. The Owls’ would extend their lead to 16 points with 5 minutes remaining.

Though with 1:30 remaining, the Hawks would make it interesting by cutting the Owls’ lead to 4 to cap off a 17-2 run. After a Shizz Alston offensive foul, the Hawks would get the ball back and take a trip to the free throw line, but the Hawks’ would miss both.

Evading the late comeback by the Hawks, the Owls would prevail and earn their second home victory of the season, improving to 6-2, while the Hawks fall to 4-5.

Shizz Alston led scorers with 20, followed by Quinton Rose who had 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. Josh Brown added 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists and Ernest Aflakpui with his best game of the year with 12 points and 6 rebounds.

Next up for the Temple Owls is No. 4 Villanova at The Liacouras Center this Wednesday at 7 PM.

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 Men’s Basketball Falls Short to George Washington

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Temple men’s basketball fell short against George Washington Sunday afternoon with a score of 71-67. This loss brings the Owls to 4-2 on the season, and brings George Washington to 4-4 on the season.

George Washington came out hot in the beginning and never looked back. George Washington shot 68 percent from the field in the first half while shooting 60 percent for three pointers. The Colonials typically average 30 percent for threes per game.

George Washington outscored Temple 40-25 in the first half, but the Owls made a comeback in the second half outscoring the Colonials 42-31.

In the second half, George Washington was up by 15 points, but the Owls were able to go on a

Courtesy OwlSports

14-3 run to cut the deficit to just six. Shizz Alston tied the game for the first time with a three pointer with just 6 minutes left to play. During the last 5 minutes the Owls never trailed by more than 5 points, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.

In the first half the Owls made 46.15 percent of their shots from the field, but only a mere 14.29% from beyond the arch. The Owls turned it around in the second half of game pay and shot 50 percent from the field and 46.67 percent from beyond the arch.

For the third game in the row, sophomore Quinton Rose led the team in scoring with 20 points, and this also is Rose’s third straight game with 20 or more points.

Junior Shizz Alston, Jr also scored 18 points and made 4-5 three-pointers. Alston also knocked down 2 of 2 free throws, and this makes him a perfect 46-46 dating back to Dec. 28th 2016. This streak is the second-longest in programs history.

The Owls will play their first home game of the season against Wisconsin on Wednesday, Dec. 6

Quinton Rose Flashing Pro Potential

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In late June of this year, CBS Sports’ writer Reid Forgave came out with his first NBA mock draft. This featured highly touted player like DeAndre Ayton and Michael Porter Jr., but it also included the surprise entry of a Temple Owl. Forgave projected Quinton Rose to be drafted by the Raptors with the 26th pick in the draft. While this was obviously premature, it turned heads toward the Owls’ star guard – and so far, he has responded well.

Rose first began turning heads when he was selected to perform in the USA Men’s U19 World Cup. He was described as one of the surprise standout performers and become one of the final 18 players. Unfortunately, he was cut from the team, but that did not stop him from turning a few heads.

Now, Rose is carrying that momentum into the season. Currently, Rose is averaging 18.8 points and 6.2 rebounds, while shooting 51% from the field.  In 3 of his first 5 games this season he has scored 20 or more points. It is clear that Rose has made a point to improve his offensive skillset and particularly his jumper.

When asked about his attention to shooting this offseason he said, “I got a lot of 3’s up and a lot of midrange jump shots… I would do a certain amount (of shots) off-the-dribble, off of cuts, and off of screens…”

Rose also credited a large part of this improvement to his aggressive play style on offense. Whether that be driving to the hoop or taking a jumper, Rose says he just wants to make plays for the team.

With this improvement and success comes the possibility of getting drafted. While recent mock drafts from CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation have not projected Rose as a first-round pick, it’s hard to see him slipping out if he continues this success.

Oh, and as a final side-note, it may interest teams to know that Rose is still growing. When Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer asked Rose if he had grown, Rose responded, “Yes I have… I’m 6’7 now.” Without the hair, of course.

Owls Dominate South Carolina to Improve to 4-1

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After a disappointing loss to La Salle on Sunday, Temple turned around and put on a show at Madison Square Garden again South Carolina, to win by a final of 76-70.

The Owls went on a went on a run midway through the first half, highlighted by a 3/4 court attempted alley-oop by Quinton Rose that found its way in the basket.

Temple didn’t look back after that, dominating the remainder of the opening 20 minutes, and continuing its stellar play to close out a South Carolina team that made the final four a year ago.

Rose was the star of the evening, as the sophomore scored 24 points while shooting an impressive 10/13 from the field. Rose is averaging 18.8 points per game through the first five games of the season.

It was also a solid night off the bench for one Damion Moore. The sophomore who showed flashes of his potential, had the best game of his young career against the Gamecocks.

Moore posted a career high 20 points, to go along with 10 rebounds, for his first double-double of the season. He led what was an otherwise quiet night from the bench, with the Temple bench scoring a combined five points outside of Moore. Obi Enechionyia had an impressive night as well, scoring 15 points, while shooting 6-8 from the floor, and five rebounds.

The Owls will next travel to take on George Washington for a Sunday matinee, tipoff is at 2:30. Following the trip to George Washington, Temple will have its first home game of the season against Wisconsin on Wednesday night on North Broad.

Let’s Go Bowling – Temple Football

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Last week, in the regular season finale, the Temple Owls knocked off conference opponent Tulsa by a score of 43-22. The victory made the team winners of three of their last four contests and 6-6 overall, making the Owls bowl eligible for the third straight year.

In 2015, the team posted a 10-4 record, with signature games featuring a 17-point win against Penn State and a 4-point loss to No. 9 Notre Dame. At the tail end of the season, the Owls earned a spot in the AAC championship game but fell short 24-13 to the Houston Cougars. They got selected to play in the Boca Raton Bowl against the Toledo Rockets (10-2). The Owls fell short in that game as well, losing 32-17.

Last season, the team posted another 10-4 record with a signature win coming at the end of the season. The Owls took on the Houston Cougars in the AAC championship game for the second year in a row. This time around though Temple came out victorious with a 34-10 victory. Big games from Keith Kirkwood, Ventell Bryant, Ryquell Armstead, and then senior Jahad Thomas helped the Owls on their way to the win. Following the conference championship, Temple was selected to play in the Military Bowl against Wake Forest (7-6) but lost 34-26 after losing their Head Coach Matt Rhule, of four seasons, to the head coaching position at Baylor University.

Fast Forward to the current 2017 season. To this point, the Owls are 6-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play during Head Coach Geoff Collins first season at Temple University.

The season started out in a blowout loss at Notre Dame followed by two straight wins at home against Villanova and UMass. The Owls would go 1-3 in their next four games including a blowout loss to No. 21 USF, a blowout win vs. ECU and a heartbreaking loss to UConn on homecoming. Following the UConn loss, Coach Collins decided to switch things up at QB and start Frank Nutile over Logan Marchi after Marchi got a minor injury at practice. Nutile stepped in and right away looked like the right choice. The team suffered a tough overtime loss at Army but bounced right back off of their bye week when they played Navy and won 34-26. After that convincing win in primetime against Navy, the Owls went 2-1 with the loss coming from No. 14 UCF. Making QB Frank Nutile 3-2 in his 5 games as a starter throwing 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions (4 of which coming in the blowout loss to No. 14 UCF).

After the team notched their 6th win of the season, one question remains: which bowl game will the Temple Owls be selected for? Let’s take a look at some possibilities.

AutoNation Cure Bowl
The Cure Bowl made its debut in 2015 and is played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The game features one team from the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. The net proceeds from the game benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Possible opponents for this game would be Georgia State (6-4), Louisiana (5-6) or New Mexico State (5-6).
Boca Raton Bowl
The Boca Raton Bowl began in 2014 and features one team from the AAC in a 6-year cycle and from Conference USA. The game is played in Boca Raton, Florida, at FAU Stadium. Possible opponents for this game would be Marshall (7-5), Louisiana Tech (6-6), Middle Tennessee (6-6) or WKU (6-6).

DXL Frisco Bowl
This is the first year for the DXL Frisco Bowl. It was formerly known as the Miami Beach Bowl but got relocated to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. An American Athletic Team plays in the bowl each year but has no specific opposing conference.

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
This bowl game is played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The AAC gives a team 3 times in a 6-year cycle, and this season Conference USA will also play in this bowl as well. Possible opponents for this game would be Marshall (7-5), Louisiana Tech (6-6), Middle Tennessee (6-6) or WKU (6-6).

Birmingham Bowl
This bowl game has been around since 2006 and is played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The AAC annually faces an opponent from the SEC. Possible opponents for this game would be Kentucky (7-5), Missouri (7-5), Texas A&M (7-5), Ole Miss (6-5) or Vanderbilt (5-7).

Hawai’i Bowl This bowl game is played on Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium on the campus of the University of Hawaii. The AAC will send one team 3 times in 5 years to compete against an opponent from the Mountain West Conference. Possible opponents for this game would be Colorado State (7-5), Utah State (6-6), Air Force (5-7) or UNLV (5-7).

Military Bowl
This bowl game takes place at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. In the current format, the AAC will square off against an opponent from the ACC. Possible opponents for this game would be Boston College (7-5), Wake Forest (7-5), Duke (6-6), Virginia (6-6) or Pittsburg (5-7).

Head Coach Geoff Collins and his Temple Owls will look to end the season on a high note and finish 7-6, setting the tone early for next season with a big win.

Make sure to stick with the SportsDesk for continued coverage of Temple Football’s bowl game status.

Women’s Basketball Wins Close Big 5 Battle Against St. Joe’s

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PHILADELPHIA- The Owls pulled out an impressive victory against undefeated St. Joe’s in a close and highly competitive Philadelphia Big 5 matchup.

 

Coming off a disappointing loss vs Ole Miss, the Owls came out flat in the first quarter, only managing 9 points and turning over the basketball 7 times. The Hawks looked poised for an easy win, but the Owls bounced back and had the game tied all up at 30 come halftime. It wasn’t easy, but Temple eked out a 69-66 with clutch free throws and tight defense to hold off a potential comeback from St. Joe’s.

 

Head Coach Tonya Cardoza said this about what clicked for the Owls after a tough first quarter, “Picking up the pace of the game. We are better when we are faster and being aggressive. And then defensively, when we are a lot faster and a lot quicker, even when their guys are open, we were quick enough to catch up to them and get them out of their rhythm.

 

Cardoza also believes that tough competitive Big 5 games, should prepare the Owls for further tests along the road. “It doesn’t matter what someone’s record is, the game is always intense.”

Courtesy OwlSports

 

Tanya Atkinson again led the way for the Owls and registered yet another double-double. Atkinson has 24 points on 8 of 20 shooting, with 13 rebounds, and a clutch layup in the closing seconds of the game. Atkinson said that it “feels good” to be given the final shot  and that she’s “matured and grown enough to be put in that position that even when I do miss, I know they still have my back.”

 

Mia Davis also registered a double-double, adding 15 points, along with 13 rebounds. Deja Reynold scored a career-high 12 points and hit two clutch free throws with 7 seconds remaining to give the Owls their 69-66 lead.

 

The Owls did happen to give a lot of baskets inside, but they outrebounded the Hawks, 50-40, and were able to neutralize the three-point scoring abilities of St. Joe’s. Coming into the game, the Hawks were shooting more than 50% from the three-point line, tonight, they were 1 of 10, and coach Cardoza credits that to the defense of freshman, Emani Mayo. Even though Mayo was 1-11 from the field, Cardoza views her as somebody who can defend anyone because she always sticks to and knows her assignment.

 

After a rough start, the Owls were able to bounce back and take control of the game. When they play their style of basketball, fast-paced, they are a hard team to beat.

 

The Owls now sitting at 5-2, will take on Harvard at McGonigle Hall on Saturday afternoon.

 

Temple Loses Thriller to LaSalle 87-83 for 1st Loss

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A Big 5 matchup tipped off late this afternoon from the Tom Gola Arena in front of a raucous crowd as the Temple Owls took a short trip up north to take on the LaSalle Explorers.

LaSalle won this contest in thrilling fashion by a score of 87-83.

Temple came into this game fresh off their win this past Sunday against Clemson in the championship game of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina.

LaSalle was winners of their first three games including one against fellow Big 5 team, the Penn Quakers. Since their 3-0 start, they’ve dropped their last games, most recently an 11-point loss to 11th ranked Miami FL.

In the first half, Temple jumped out to take a double-digit point lead over the Explorers. Quinton Rose was a big factor in the first half, making shot after shot, scoring 13 out of Temple’s 43 points.

With under two minutes to go in the half, LaSalle cut the Temple lead to 2 after an 8-0 run led by LaSalle’s Pookie Powell who scored 11 in the half. Temple entered halftime with a 43-37 lead.

The second half started out with both teams trading baskets early and often. That is until LaSalle went on yet another run with about 8 minutes remaining in the game when they tied up the game at 66.

The game would later be tied at 76 with under 3 minutes remaining until Obi Enechionyia hit another big three-pointer to put the Owls ahead. The teams would then go on the see-saw trading baskets and the lead.

With exactly, 1 minute remaining Temple led 81-80. Shortly after, LaSalle’s Pookie Powell would hit a three to put the Explorers up 83-81 and they wouldn’t look back.

Temple’s top scorer and rebounder was Quinton Rose who finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist. The team’s leader in assists was Josh Brown with 7, to go along with 11 points and 3 rebounds. Also in double-figures for the Owls’ were Shizz Alston (18) and Obi Enechionyia (16, 4-5 from three-point land).

For the Explorers’ their top performer was Pookie Powell, who scored 29 points including the go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute remaining. His 29 points went along with 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Also, a big factor on offense was B.J. Washington who scored 25 points.

Temple had a better shooting percentage (55.7% to 49.3%), out-rebounded (32-31), and had more assists (13-12) then LaSalle, but still went down today.

The loss gives Temple their first of the season and next they will face South Carolina on Thursday at 9:00 PM.