“You just have to live with it.” It was a hard pill to swallow for Shizz Alston Jr. and the team, as they lost to the Belmont Bruins.
Temple’s NCAA debut Tuesday night didn’t end the postseason in a way the Owls had hoped. Going into the matchup, Temple knew it would have to keep the defense tight to keep keep up with the fast- paced momentum of Belmont, and that’s exactly what they did.
The Owls weren’t quick to let the 87 average points per-game team win so easily. The Bruins on average hit about 37 percent of three pointers, and made 39 percent of three pointers attempted in Tuesday night’s game. Temple responded throughout the night with strong defense and points in the field, making a total of 7 three- pointers.
Nate Pierre-Louis led the team with eleven rebounds, keeping it close on leading scorer, Kevin McClain. Temple created shots throughout the game, but had a hard time completing them. At times, Temple was too eager to shoot and the Owls had 11 second chance points throughout the game.
Temple came out of intermission down six points and changed the pace drastically against Belmont, but the drive the Owls had wasn’t enough to keep up with the Bruins. Temple almost came out too hot in the second half, making less than half of the shots made from the field.
The Owls struggled to gain a lead back in the second after Belmont made twelve free throws in the last three minutes, bringing their lead up to thirteen points. Technical fouls and missed free throws on Temple’s side brought the game to its core as the second half winded down. Temple missed these opportunities to cut the deficit down, and hada disappointing loss, 81-70.
This matchup is the first time the Owls have returned to the NCAA tournament since 2016. This was long- time head coach Fran Dunphy’s final game with the Owls. “I’m just disappointed for the guys,” Dunphy said following the game.