PREGAME REPORT: Temple vs. Penn State

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Coming off of a regular season that saw Temple come up short in their goal of getting an NCAA tournament birth, they look to finish off their season with some meaning. After receiving an invitation to the NIT tournament, the 5th seeded Owls look to focus their efforts on their first round matchup against 4th seeded Penn State University.

Following a loss in the second round of the American Athletic Conference tournament against Wichita State, the Owls (17 – 19), travel to Happy Valley with a resume that saw them defeat strong NCAA tournament teams Clemson, Auburn, and Wichita State including a tough three point loss to Houston. Leading scorers, Sophomore Quinten Rose (15.1ppg), Junior Shizz Alston Jr. (13.2ppg), and Senior Obi Enechionyia (10.9ppg) look to continue their season with an upset to start off their tournament play. The Nittany Lions play host following a strong regular season that saw them finish (21 – 13).

Playing in the grueling Big 10 conference, they performed better than expected in the preseason completing 9 wins against conference opponents. Those include three over NCAA tournament team Ohio State thanks to strong efforts from their sophmore star Tony Carr. The First-Team All Big 10 Guard will be a tough task for the Owls to contain with rumblings of him being on multiple NBA radars. With season averages of (19.9 ppg) and (4.7 assists), Temple will look to lock in on him and disrupt Penn State’s core that includes both Philadelphia natives Sophomore Lamar Stevens (14.9 ppg) and Senior Shep Garner (11.1 ppg).

This is the first time the Owls have competed in the NIT tournament since the 2014 – 2015 NCAA season where they lost in the Semifinals to a University of Miami team 60 – 57.

Although an NCAA tournament appearance was the ultimate goal from the beginning of their season, Coach Dunphy looks to lead his team to an NIT championship that has only been won twice in their programs storied history, with their last coming in 1968.

Temple last played Penn State in the 2011 NCAA tournament, where the owls advanced to the next round defeating them 66-64.

Temple dominates the series between both programs with 60 wins to the Nittany Lions 32.

Action will be broadcasted at 8pm on ESPNU.

Temple Eliminated From AAC Tournament After 89-81 Loss to Shockers

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Temple’s hopes of making the NCAA Tournament are officially coming to an end after an 89-81 loss to Wichita State in the second round of the AAC tournament.


This game came down to the wire. It was the 19th game decided by 10 or fewer points for the Owls. They are now 11-8 in games determined by less than 10. Wichita State held the lead for the entirety of the game, with a lead as large as 10 and short as one. The Owls were able to cut it to 5 with 25 seconds remaining on the clock with a drive from Josh Brown. Inevitably, Temple was never able to gain the lead.


Fouls. Both teams found themselves in foul troubles, but the Owls were struggling from the opening minutes. Obi Enechionyia picked up two quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game, forcing Fran Dunphy to substitute Dre Perry. Perry would go on to foul out as well as JP Moorman. The big men being in foul trouble all night created another obstacle Temple needed to overcome. Temple was outrebounded by the Shocker, again, 35-24.


Wichita State shot 48% from the field and only 9-23 from behind the arc. However, 6 of those 9 threes came from Landry Shamet who went 6-9 from three and dropped 24 points on the Owls. The last time Temple played the Shockers they had a season-high of 16 made threes, including 11 in the first half. This time, Temple made 11 threes for the entire game.


Even though the Owls shot 50% from the field and 45% from the three, they could not stop the Shockers. “They’re [Wichita State] a really good basketball program, they have some veteran guys that made some veteran plays at the right times,” said coach Dunphy. Wichita State head coach, Gregg Marshall said that Temple is, “…hard to guard, thank goodness we made enough shots and plays to win the game.”


A lot of plays were made from the foul line. Temple had 29 team fouls to Wichita’s 18. The Shockers had 28 made free throws, while the Owls only got to the foul line 21 times. The 11 extra fouls Temple gave Wichita State an advantage on the line. Which ultimately resulted in Temple not being able to get on a stop on the Shockers.


Although the Amway Center is a neutral location, the arena felt like a home game for Wichita State. The fans were overwhelming crowded with Shocker fans, and there was hardly any cherry in the sea of black and yellow. However, Temple claims it did not bother but fueled them. “It felt like we were back at Wichita at first,” said Quinton Rose. “We kind of just thrive from that, knowing it’s your guys against everybody else,” said Brown.


While the Owls hopes of making it to the big dance are over, their postseason isn’t necessarily over. They are still a prominent candidate for the NIT Tournament, however, they will have to await their fate on Selection Sunday.


Temple is currently 17-15 overall. This matchup also served as their first neutral site loss this season. They were previously 5-0.

Temple to Take on Wichita State in Second Round of AAC Tournament

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Same song, different team. After barely knocking off Tulane, Temple finds themselves in a similar matchup in the second round of the AAC Tournament. Although the Shockers have a far better record than Tulane, their record against the Owls is the same. Two close games that came down to the wire. The winner of the series will be determined after AAC tournament play.


The first time these two teams met in contest, the Owls welcomed #16 Wichita State to the American Athletic Conference with an 81-79 upset in overtime. Temple had five Owls score in double figures, Quinton Rose led all with 19 points. Even though the Shockers had four players of their own in double-figures, including Shaquille Morris and Austin Reaves, who both had 20 or more points, the Owls were still able to pull off the upset. Temple once again found themselves shooting under 70% from the free throw line, but Obi Enechionyia made two big free throws in the final seconds of the game to secure the two-point victory.


The next battle would have a different outcome for the Owls. Enechionyia led the Owls with 17 points, along with four other Temple players to score double-digits. Temple shot just under 50% from the field, and 55% from behind the arc, making 16 three-pointers- a season record. Temple made twice as many three point shots as the Shockers, 11 of which came in the first half. Hence, the 14 point Temple lead going into halftime. Wichita State was led by Morris’s 16 second-half points where the Shocker outscored the Owls 51-30 to come back and win 93-86.


Each team won a tight a game on their respective floor. The two teams will face off for the third time this season at 7 pm on March, 9th. The action will be on ESPNU. The winner will advance to take on the winner of Houston vs. UCF in the semi-finals of the AAC Tournament.


Temple Advances to Second Round of AAC Tournament with 82-77 Win Over Tulane

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Basketball may be in the postseason, but Temple basketball kept it close just like they did during the regular season.


In the first round of the AAC Tournament, the Owls barely topped Tulane 82-77.

Temple played catch-up for the majority of the first half. The Green Wave started to play with a 10-1 run, leaving the Owls with one field goal up until the first media timeout. Temple, a team that averages 8.2 three-pointers per game, was shooting just 14% from behind the arc with just seven minutes remaining in the first half. That 1-7 from three quickly adjusted to 5-12 (42%). That surge in three-point shooting and uncharacteristically good shooting from the free throw line10-13 (76%) in the first half gave Temple the momentum they needed going into halftime. The Owls have averaged only 68% from the foul line all season.

Similar to the Owls previous victory over Tulane, Temple was aided by a strong second half shooting attempt. In their 83-76 win, they shot 55% from the field and 62% from the three. In their 82-77 win, Temple shot 52% from the field and 66% from behind the arc in the second half. The three ball proved once again to be the difference. The Owls 11 made three-pointers sealed the deal. Five of which came from senior, Obi Enechionyia. The big man led all Owls with 19 points while shooting 5-7 from three.


Despite a strong shooting percentage from three-point range, the game still came down to the wire. The Owls, who had a lead as great as 13 points, found themselves up by only one with less than 30 seconds to play. Tulane was then forced to foul Shizz Alston, Temple’s leading free throw shooter, who averages 94% from the line. After making both of his foul shots, Brown followed up with a pair of free throws to secure a win for the Owls.


The Temple upperclassmen led the way for the Owls in the first round of the tournament. Enechionyia led all with 19 and grabbed 3 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Brown added 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Shizz Alston contributed 17 points and 8 assists with only one turnover.


Temple will advance to the second round of the AAC Tournament where they will take on Wichita State. The Owls split their regular season series with The Shockers. Tipoff is set for 7 pm on ESPNU.

Temple to Face Tulane in First Round of AAC Tournament

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It’s officially March and that means postseason basketball. The American conference will be starting their tournament on Thursday, March, 8th, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

Temple is set to take on Tulane in the first round of the bracket at 7 pm. If the Owls were to beat Tulane, they would advance to play Wichita State in the second round. The Green Wave has one win over the Owls and the Owls have one win as well. The first round of the AAC Tournament will determine which team wins their conference series.

Despite Temple scoring more than 70 points and having three Owls score in double-figures, they could not stop Tulane in their first contest of the season. Melvin Frazier and Cameron Reynolds proved to be a force for the Owls. Frazier put up 25 points and dished out 7 assists, while Reynolds was unstoppable on the boards with 10 rebounds and 17 points to match. The Green Wave went back to New Orleans with an 85-75 win over the Owls at the Liacouras Center.

The next time these two teams met, the high score was similar, but the outcome was in Temple’s favor. Nate Pierre-Louis provided a burst of energy for the Owls, leading all Temple scorers with 18 points. Ernest Aflakpui grabbed 10 rebounds as well, having nearly a third of Temple’s 35 rebounds. Reynold and Frazier still gave the Owls trouble, but a second-half shooting effort of 55% from the field for Temple was enough to steal a win. Temple came out on top 83-76.

The Owls are coming into this third matchup at the 7 seed and Tulane at the 10. Even though the Owls are on a two-game losing streak, they are still running with some momentum from a five-game winning streak that took place just before their last stretch of the season.

Tipoff is set for 7 pm on ESPNU.

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.



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.