By Jonathan Gilbert
Coming into the game on a devastating three game losing streak that has knocked their season off course, the Owls (13-7, 4-3 AAC) came into their matchup with University of South Florida Bulls (7-12, 1-5 AAC) with something to prove. They would attempt to get their season back on track in their quest for a berth in the American Athletic Conference tournament and after that, a bid in the NCAA tournament.
The Owls started fast and began the game off with a 10-4 lead. USF stormed back and went on a 10-0 run to give them the advantage with a little under ten minutes remaining in the first half.
Then, after a media timeout, the Owls began playing inspired basketball. In a game that looked like it could be an upset, the Owls put together a 29-6 run for the remainder of the half, to take them into halftime with a 39-20 lead.
During the 29-6 run, Temple nailed seven three point baskets. Four of the treys came from senior guard Jesse Morgan, who had been shooting 21% from beyond the arc in his previous three games. He finished the game with 19 points on 6-12 shooting.
The second half was relatively evenly matched, as Temple only outscored USF 34-28, but the Bulls never really threatened as they had such a large deficit and could not climb out of it.
Will Cummings returned to action after having been sidelined for once game with a strained muscle in his left leg and was an immediate catalyst.
In the Owls previous game against Cincinnati, they only scored 53 but with Cummings healthy and back at point guard, there were numerous open looks that translated in 73 points.
Cummings finished with 12 points, three assists and three steals. He was the third leading scorer for the Owls. Quenton DeCosey, the second leading scorer on the night, turned in a solid effort with 14 points and 2 thunderous dunks.
Temple resumes action on January 28th at Central Florida. South Florida continues their Northeast trip with a game at UConn on January 24th.