On Thursday, the men’s basketball team hosted the #21 University of Connecticut Huskies for a late night AAC matchup. The Owls came into Thursday’s game confident after a 71-64 upset over Southern Methodist University on Sunday.
As the first half got underway, both teams struggled from the field. However freshman Mark Williams found his stroke early on, including a 3-point basket expanding an early Temple lead 15-8. This margin would turn out to be the largest lead of the night for the Owls. Huskie senior Shabazz Napier took over the tempo of the game later in the half throwing off the shooting of Dalton Pepper and Quenton DeCosey.
UConn would head into the locker room with a 33-25 lead.
Fouls played a crucial role in the beginning of the second half forcing a recently hot Devontae Watson to see little playing time in Thursday’s game.. Anthony Lee was back in action after sitting out Sunday’s game to recover from an injury. Lee contributed 10 points to what turned out to be a low scoring turnout for the Owls. The junior center struggled defensively especially communicating with teammates on rebounds.
Sharp shooting guards Napier and Ryan Boatright started to heat up with 10 minutes remaining. Napier hit all 11 of his free throws and went on to lead all scorers with 17 points followed by 12 rebounds and 7 assists giving him his fourth double-double on the season.
DeCosey shot a mere 1-11 from the field before catching his second wind. With 5 minutes to play in the game, DeCosey went basket crazy scoring 11 points in the matter of three and a half minutes. However, DeCosey’s team high of 16 points and 8 rebounds were enough, and the team went on to lose the game 68-55.
The Owls will next play when they travel to Tennessee to take on #22 Memphis on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 9:30pm
Coverage: ESPNU, 1210 AM WPHT