Sixers Continue Home Winning Streak

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The moment may finally be here. The Philadelphia 76ers kept their home winning streak alive in their nail bitter 116-105 victory over the Orlando Magic sparking dreams of a playoff run.  

Thrill flowed through the Wells Fargo Center as the Sixers looked to extend their home winning streak to ten. Six players scored in the double digits, including Joel Embiid, who ended the game with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

“I feel like the game is becoming easy for me, I’m not pushing, I’m just letting the game come to me,” said Embiid about his performance against Orlando.  

Ben Simmons scored 17 points with 7 assists, and JJ Redick added 16 points, shooting 6 for 8 with one 3 pointer. Marco Belinelli, who was signed earlier this month to strengthen the bench, scored 15 points. Robert Covington also scored 12 points and Dario Saric had 11.  

76ers Head Coach Brett Brown had nothing but praise for Embiid during the post game press conference.

“There was a fierce competitor and tenacity in Joel Embiid like he really has a disposition to defend, he’s got a skill package to score, but a disposition to defend,” says Brown.

The Sixers trailed the Magic by 9 points in the first quarter with more turnovers than field goals, but Richaun Holmes swooped in to save the day.

Richaun responded to a question about his performance by saying, “I just do what I do. You know run the floor, bring energy, rebound, try to play good defense, try to continue to expand on the lead, and play good basketball.”

Brown decided to play Holmes instead of veteran Amir Johnson so Holmes could stay fresh.

Brown says, “My motivation right now is, I know Richaun has value. I know he has things that he can bring to the table. And I respect how he’s handled himself when he wasn’t playing that much. I know it’s my job to keep him alive. Tonight was an example of that, and I thought he did very, very well.”

With an 87-71 lead going into the fourth quarter, Brown decided to test the bench.

“We have to grow our bench, we have to give those guys confidence that they can close out games, and they did,” says Brown.

Ben Simmons had this to say when asked about the benches performance: “It shows they can hold it down. We have guys who are capable of doing that. It doesn’t have to be the starting five. They teach those players really well. It gives us more time to rest and more confidence in the whole team.”

While Philadelphia might be looking ahead towards another parade down Broad Street, Coach Brown is still taking it one game at a time.

Brown says, “In my mind it’s to take that approach in our remaining games so we can become hardened and I hope well-drilled when it matters most in a playoff situation.”

If this home winning streak continues, the Sixers will have their chance to be in the Playoffs and maybe even the Finals.

Owls Burst Bubble Hope After Falling 72-66 to Huskies

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March is just around the corner, ergo March Madness is basically here. For a team that is hovering around being a bubble team, Temple may have just popped their bubble.

The Owls traveled up to Connecticut to take on the UConn Huskies, which Temple had previously beaten by their largest margin, 28, earlier this season. UConn did not take that lucky, and they came in with a different attitude on their Senior Day. Even though the Owls heavily outrebounded the Huskies, UConn still was able to secure a 72-66 victory over the Owls.

COURTESY Getty Images

Rebounding is usually an area where Temple struggles. They are dead last in the American for rebounds per game with 38.1 and rebound margins at -4. Yet somehow the Owls were able to grab 53 rebounds tonight, a season-high, opposed to UConn’s 41. Temple was allotted themselves a slew of second-chance opportunities but was not able to convert.

Where Temple usually struggles on the boards, they make up for behind the arc. They average about 36% from the line, averaging roughly 8.3 a game. The Owls shot only 20% from three, shooting 6-30. UConn had nearly double the number of triples with 11 and shot only 29 times from behind the arc.

Despite struggling offensively and shooting 36.5% from the field and 50% from the foul line, the Owl’s still had four players put up double figures. Enechionyia led the Owls with 15 points and 8 rebounds. The big man did find himself in foul trouble, forcing Coach Dunphy to substitute offense/defense in the critical final minutes of the game. Shizz Alston contributed 13 points for the second game in a row, he had 8 rebounds as well. However, Alston only dished out one assist out of the Owls 12 total. In their last matchup with the Huskies, the Owls accumulated 20 assists. Quinton Rose added 11 points for the Owls, along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Nate Pierre- Louis had 10 points of his own to go with his 6 rebounds.

Jalen Adams was the guy with the hot hands. He dropped 25 points on the Owls, leading all scorers. Adams also dished out 8 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds for the Huskies.

The Owls have one more game before the AAC Tournament. They will take on Tulsa, another bubble team, Sunday, March 4th.  A road win against Tulsa is crucial for the Owls, which are still hoping for a bid on Selection Sunday. There best chance and most likely the only chance is to win out in the AAC Tournament.

 

Women’s Basketball Gives Valiant Effort on Senior Night

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Philadelphia- Temple women’s basketballs season came to a crashing end on Monday night with an overtime thriller loss to Memphis.

 

The Owls will head into the ACC tournament with a disappointing regular season record of 11-18 (3-13 in conference play), after starting off 8-3. After a hot start, the remaining 18 games, the Owls would go 3-15.

 

On Senior Night, the Owls got a big boost from their best senior in Tanaya Atkinson, who hit a game-tying three-pointer to force an overtime period, but ultimately the Owls fizzled out, losing 83-78 to the Tigers.

 

Temple led and maintained control for most of the game, it wasn’t until the end of regulation until Memphis took the lead. Tanaya Atkinson scored six of the Owls last points to force an overtime period, as she made sure to shine in her final game at McGonigle Hall. Atkinson compiled 25 points, 14 rebounds, five steals, and five assists.

 

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Seniors Khadijah Berger and Mykia Jones scored eight points each, with Berger also adding five assists on the night.

 

 

Temple took an early lead in the first quarter and the game pretty much went back and forth from there.

 

Both teams made significant runs in the third quarter, starting with a 7-0 Temple surge that put the Owls up 30-22. Memphis answered with eight unanswered points to tie the game at 30-30, but Temple made sure to be up at the half after a big 3 pointer to hold a 33-30 lead at the half.

 

The game went back and forth again before the Tigers went on an 11-3 run to take a 68-65 lead. Then, Atkinson hit an off-balance, miracle three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

 

The Owls scored first, but it was not nearly enough. Memphis iced the game from the free throw line by outscoring Temple 15-10 in the overtime period, to hold onto an 83-78 victory.

 

The Owls will be the No. 11 seed for the AAC conference tournament. They will take on the Wichita State Shockers on Saturday in Connecticut. The Owls lost to the Shockers earlier this year by a score of 88-81.

 

“We’re not playing for anything except pride,” Cardoza said. “The last thing you want to do is go into the tournament and just go through the motions. It’s a basketball game and as a basketball player, no matter what the situation, you always want to compete and try to win basketball games.”

 

Steve Leonard Helps Spark Temple to Victory on Senior Day

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Sunday afternoon marked the final time seniors Obi Enechionyia, Steve Leonard and Josh Brown would play at the Liacouras Center. The Owls game against UCF was the team’s last home game of the season, and with it, their senior night.

While Enechionyia and Brown have been integral parts of Temple’s starting lineup for the entire season, Leonard has seen little playing time. That changed this past weekend as the 6-6 forward started in his first game for the Owls and he made the most of it.

In the opening minutes of the game, Leonard scored the first 6 points of the contest on 2 early 3-pointers.

When asked about the experience a grinning Leonard said, “I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”

Courtesy: Temple University Athletics

However, Leonard’s early baskets served more than just a fond memory. Obi Enechionyia spoke about how important the senior’s spark was for the team.

“I think he set the tone for the entire game. He got the crowd into it early and once he hit those two shots we went on a run… He was huge for us today”

A set the tone, he did. Following his two 3’s the Owls went on a run scoring the first 16 points of the game.

From that point on, the team did not look back. Temple poured it on throughout the remainder of the game leading by as much as 24 points during the second half.

Quinton Rose led the team in the scoring department notching a total of 19 points. The Owls treated the seniors to a proper send off with the final score of 75-56 in favor of the cherry and white.

Temple’s next game comes on February 28th where they will be squaring off against the UConn Huskies.

 

Temple’s March Madness Chances Slim After 80-59 Loss to Cougars

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After suffering a tough loss to Wichita State on Thursday, the Owls hoped to bounce back and secure a much-needed win over the Houston Cougars.

However, the game did not turn out the way Temple had hoped. From the start, Houston was sinking shots as well as maintaining a very fortified defense which didn’t allow Temple to get onto the board until seven minutes into the game. The Owls went into halftime trailing 41-20.

Courtesy: The Temple News

Temple has made runs to make up for major deficits several times this season, and they were hoping to make a second-half comeback. However, the Owls sight of a comeback quickly vanished as Houston continued to drive the ball through Temple’s defense. Temple’s furious efforts to try and get a foot back into the game were overruled by Houston every step of the way.

The final score of the game was 80-59 in Houston’s favor making it Temple’s chances to make the NCAA even slimmer. The areas in which Temple lacked greatly in were FG attempts, in which they only had a 36% success rate. Temple’s 3 point attempts were also unsuccessful hitting only 30% of the chances they took. Rebounds also proved to be a major issue for the Owls, having only 22 as opposed to Houston’s 53. If Temple has any hopes of making the tournament they will need to win the remainder of their regular season games as well as make a run in the AAC tournament.

The Owls next game is home against UCF on Sunday, February 25th at 2:00 pm.  

Temple’s Winning Streak Ends Against Wichita State

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The Temple Men’s Basketball team’s 5-game winning streak has finally come to a close at the hands of Wichita State.

The game was a track meet as both teams ran up the scoreboard.

After an extremely impressive first half, the Owls were unable to hold on for the win. The team opened up the half with the hot-hand going on an early 11-0 run. While the Shockers were able to make dents in the lead at times, the Owls stayed in control and took a commanding 56-42 lead into half. The 56 points scored by the Owls were the most ever in a half during the Gregg Marshall-era.

Courtesy: Temple News

Unfortunately, Temple quickly saw this lead dissipate. The Shockers came out of the half on fire as an early 17-3 run tied the score.

From that point on it became an absolute dog fight with the two teams exchanging blows back and forth.

Perhaps the most crucial play of the game came at the 2-minute mark when Wichita State’s Zach Brown missed a 3-point shot, but Shaquille Morris recovered the offensive rebound put-back to give them the lead.

The Owls were able to keep it interesting throughout the rest of the game, but could not stop the Shockers.

Following a couple of free throws, Temple fell to Wichita State 93-86.

Prior to the game ESPN’s Joe Lunardi said this game can help, but not hurt the Owls due to their early win over the Shockers. However, he does believe that for Temple to make the tournament, the need to win the remainder of their games and make a run in the AAC tournament.

The Owls next contest is at home against a Houston team who is fresh-off a win against #5 Cincinnati.

 

Eagles Fans Celebrate the Eagles Super Bowl Win at the Eagles Parade

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On Thursday, February 8th,  Eagles fans gathered in Center City Philadelphia to participate in their first Super Bowl victory parade.

 

Eagles’ fans from around the region joined the big party in Philadelphia. From the  Stadium to the Museum of Art,, people cheered and celebrated.

 

“It’s a dream come true, it’s definitely a dream come true. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Brian, a Delaware resident said, “ I was there for 2004 and I was rooting for them, and we had our chance for redemption, and here we are baby.”

 

With the waving of the Eagles’ flags and singing of the “Fly Eagles Fly” song, fans could not conceal their happiness and they could not wait to see the parade and the Eagles team.

 

Travis Davis, a Philadelphia resident said, “ I just wanna see the team. I wanna see the team. I wanna see the players”

 

Overall, Eagles fans had a great time celebrating with their peers, and with the players, at a once in a lifetime opportunity. They do not call it the “city of brotherly love” for nothing!

Give Me 5- Owls drop USF 73-55 for Fifth Straight Win

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Temple basketball usually consists of a back and forth battle for the entirety of the game, resulting in either heartbreak or relief. Consistency is not something that is often associated with the Owls. However, Temple’s five-game win streak is proving that this team is pushing for consistency in the right direction.

 

The Owls went down to South Florida and added to their five-game winning streak with a 73-55 victory over the Bulls. This gives the Owls a 7-6 record in the AAC and 15-10 record overall. Three of their next five games all had previous matchups that were decided by 3 or fewer points. Three of their upcoming games are also on the road, serving as a good opportunity for the Owls to increase their resume leading up to the AAC Tournament and Selection Sunday.

 

This matchup against USF started off how Temple usually likes it, too close for comfort. Both teams shot around 40% from the field. USF put down three 3-pointers, and the Owls only put down two. Both teams were struggling on both ends, resulting in a 30-30 halftime score.

A 7-0 run to start the second half would give Temple the push they needed to finish the second half strong. They outscored the Bulls 43-25 in the second half, shooting 16-29 (55%) from the field. Quinton Rose made an impressive impact in the second half. He added 16 points to his first half’s four. Rose also picked up all four of his steals and five of his six rebounds in the second half alone. Shizz Alston contributed 19 points for the Owls and grabbed five rebounds of his own while dishing out five assists. Josh Brown had 12 points of his own and six rebounds to go along with it.

 

Temple’s next matchup will be in Kansas where they will be taking on #22 Wichita State. Temple barely knocked the Shockers, 81-79, in their last contest. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. and can be viewed on ESPN2.

Owls Mark 1900 Wins With Victory Over ECU

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The Temple men’s basketball team (14-0, 6-6 The American) continued their strong play Friday night as they defeated the Eastern Carolina (ECU) Pirates (9-14, 3-9 The American) by a score of 90-73. Sophomore guard Quinton Rose led the way with 23 points on 9-16 shooting, with 17 of those points coming in the second half.

 

The win marks Temple’s 1900th in school history, which is good for fifth all-time in the college rankings.

 

The Owls started off hot in the first half by taking a 15-4 lead just under six minutes in. The Pirates closed the gap to 21-18 about halfway through, but that was as close as they would get.

The Owls, who had 14 free throw attempts in the half, made five straight free throws to get the lead up to 38-62 with just under five minutes left. The Pirates closed the half on a 9-3 run and were down only 41-35 at the half.

 

The Pirates came out firing at the start of the second half and tied the game at 44 after a three-pointer by redshirt-freshman guard Shawn Williams. Coach Fran Dunphy quickly called a timeout. Afterwards, the Owls outscored the Pirates 46-29 for the rest of the game.

 

“I didn’t tell them anything earth-shattering by any stretch, just basically that we needed to pay attention to our details. From that point on though I thought that they understood that we were in a dogfight and then we made a couple of jump shots and our defense tightened up a little bit.

We are a team that has good stretches of basketball and we have to eliminate the not-so-good.” – Dunphy

 

Rose made his first seven shots of the half and had two emphatic dunks early on courtesy of junior guard Shizz Alston Jr.

 

The first one was off a fast-break and Alston sent the ball Rose’s way from half-court for an alley-oop. The second came just a few minutes later when Alston hit Rose as he was cutting baseline, and Rose proceeded to throw down a dunk over the like of Pirate freshman guard Dimitri Spasojevic.

 

“I think [the dunks] brought a lot of energy,” Rose said. “Those are two big plays but Shizz made two great passes to me and I just finished them off.”

 

The Owls had contributions from most players tonight. Senior guard Josh Brown scored 17 points on 5-11 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Alston had 14 points on 5-10 shooting, junior center Ernest Aflakpui had 10 points and freshman guard Nate Pierre-Louis had 10 points as well with two threes.

 

Perhaps the surprise of the game was J.P. Moorman II. The freshman forward grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and had 11 points for his first ever career double-double. This was the first time since Lavoy Allen in the 2008 NCAA Tournament that an Owl has recorded a points-rebounds double-double.

 

“He was huge. He did a lot of the little things that Obi has been doing for us and you can see it, those 12 rebounds that he had for us were big rebounds for us,” Brown said. “He was aggressive tonight and helped to run the offense at the top of the key. He was getting those boards and pushing and creating shots for others, so he played a great game for us and I knew he would show up.”

 

Senior forward Obi Enechionya was not available for the game with an illness, so freshman forward De’Vondre Perry started in his place. He grabbed one rebound and blocked one shot in 11 minutes of play.

 

Sophomore center Damion Moore returned to play after he missed the last seven games with a right ankle sprain. He had four points and two rebounds and grabbed two rebounds in nine minutes.

 

Fan-favorite Steve Leonard got into the game towards the end as well. It was the senior forward’s birthday and he was the recipient of multiple cheers all night. He scored one point off of a free throw in one minute of play.

 

“He’s just a good man. Steve is a really good guy and he’s a terrific student and he’s a good teammate, he’s a really good teammate. He comes to practice every day and you never hear anything from him, he just does what you ask of him to do,” Dunphy said. “He’s just one of those great stories in my mind and hopefully our team appreciates him like the coaching staff does.”

 

The Owls will look to extend their win streak to five when they travel to Tampa, Florida to take on South Florida. The Bulls (8-17, 1-11 The American) have lost four games in a row and are in last place in the conference.

 

Owls Shock the #16 Shockers in 81-79 OT Victory

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A last second drive to the lane with six seconds remaining on the clock to give an opportunity for the other team to close out the game would be unsettling for most teams. Way too close for comfort, unless that team was the Temple Owls.

 

Courtesy Kansas.com

Thursday’s matchup against Wichita State marks the Owls’ 11th game this season determined by five or fewer points. Temple is now 6-5 in those contests. Despite the Shockers having a 17-4 record opposed to the Owls’ 11-10 record coming into this game, this was still a highly anticipated matchup. Especially for Temple. Fran Dunphy and co. were coming off of an interesting pair of games. They were handed their biggest loss of the season just two games prior at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats, followed by their largest win of the season over the UConn Huskies. Luckily for the Owls, the team that played Connecticut showed up at the Liacouras Center.

 

This marks the second time this season that Temple has had five players score in double figures. Quinton Rose led the Owls with 19 points, despite only playing for 25 minutes. Josh Brown showed serious senior leadership. He had 15 points and was 3-4 from behind the arc. He also contributed five rebounds and three steals. Shizz Alston started cold, he finished the night with 12 points even though he was 5-22 from the field and 0-6 from three. However, the junior guard had the most important bucket of regulation, a drive to the lane with less than 10 seconds on the clock to advance the Owls to an overtime contest. Obi Enechionyia and Nate Pierre-Louis both had 11 points. Pierre-Louis also grabbed five

Courtesy CBS Sports

rebounds and had two steals.

 

Turnovers were a key to a Temple victory. They needed to not turn the ball over. With 10 rebounds, they relatively did what they needed to do. What they did better than not turn the ball over was force Wichita State turnovers. The Shockers had 16 turnovers at the hands of the Temple Owls. The Owls were one steal away at 11 from tying their season-best of most steals in one game.

This marks the 11th straight season that temple has defeated a top 25 team. This should significantly boost the Owls’ resume and their March Madness tournament hopes alive. Their impressive wins over Clemson, Auburn, SMU, and Wichita State are overshadowed by their bad losses to teams like George Washington, La Salle, and a big margin loss to Villanova and Cincinnati.

The Owls are headed to down to New Orleans this Sunday to take on Tulane.