Friday night’s 74-54 loss to #3/4 Duke was expected. But coming into Saturday for the Coaches vs. Cancer consolation match against UNLV brought a more positive mindset for Temple fans. The Rebels (3-1) were crushed by an unranked Stanford team Friday night at the Barlcays Center (Brooklyn, NY).
UNLV came out slow in the first 5 minutes of the game allowing the Owls(2-2) to open up to w 9-2 lead before the Rebels had to call a timeout. While the Owls continued to struggle from beyond the arc senior guard Will Cummings was able to find his groove from three-point land hitting 2-3 and 13 points total in the first 20 minutes.
Fran Dunphy’s squad held the lead going into halftime 27-24.
Instead of pulling ahead at the start of the second the Owls did the exact opposite. The Rebels went on a 7-0 run coming out of the locker room and lead by as much at 38-30 before redshirt-sophomore Daniel Dingle was able to find a rhythm nailing a three-pointer.
The Owls were never able to respond from UNLV’s 2nd half hot-start and they went on to lose their second straight game by a score of 57-50. Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said after the game it wasn’t the sloppy second half that lost them the game. “We played well enough to have a bigger lead in the 1st half. We should have taken advantage of that. We started losing the game in the first 20 minutes” -Fran Dunphy.
Temple made it a close game in the last couple minutes pulling within three points after Cummings drove to the basket and got the foul. Quenton DeCosey had a chance to tie it up with a three-pointer but his shot rattled out and the Rebels were able to counter on a fast break making it a 53-48 game.
Cummings led all scorers with 21 points. When asked what the team needs to do differently, the co-captain said, “We just need to make better decisions whether we decide to attack the basket or not. The game is over now. We need to refocus and look ahead to playing Penn.”
The team will travel back to North Broad Street in Philadelphia where they will practice in preparation for Tuesday’s home game against the University of Pennsylvania. This will be the first Big-5 matchup of the season for Owls.
Game information: Liacouras Center, 7pm tipoff. Coverage: TV- ESPN3 Radio- 1210 AM WPHT