A year after upsetting an unbeaten SMU team, Temple entered Moody Coliseum looking for its first win in AAC play this season. The Mustangs came out hot, and carried a double digit lead throughout the game, defeating the Owls 79-65 for their 9th consecutive victory.
The Owls could not overcome an 18 point second half deficit, and fall to 0-3 in AAC play to start the season.
SMU dominated the first half, with runs of 11, and 13 straight points. The Mustangs hit five threes in the first half, including two by senior guard Sterling Brown, who tallied eight points in the first 20 minutes of play. Forward Semi Ojeleye led the way for the mustangs with 10 points in the first half.
The Mustangs dominated the glass in the first half, with a plus 10 rebound advantage at 22-12. They tallied 13 offensive rebounds in the first half, compared to only 12 total rebounds by the Temple.
Obi Enechionyia scored 11 points in the first half, to lead all scorers. The 11 points mark the first time Enechionyia has scored double digit points in a game since December 17th against NJIT.
The Owls started hot early in the half, leading SMU by six points, but ended up shooting just 9-25 in the first 20 minutes, and
shooting just 36 percent from the field. Temple, a team that averages 12 turnovers a game, turned the ball over eight times in the first half, leading to nine
SMU points on the other end.
The second half was a different story for both teams, as Temple was able to cut the lead to nine points with under five minutes remaining, but could not complete the comeback.
The Owl’s second half success was due in large part to the play on the defensive end of the floor. Freshman Quinton Rose had five steals, to go along with 14 points, most of which coming in the second half.
Temple was led by Enechionyia, and Shizz Alston Jr., who each scored 16 points in the game. As a team, the owls shot just 39 percent from the field, and 30 percent from beyond the three point line.
Key starters Alston Jr., Daniel Dingle, and Enechionyia were in foul trouble for most of the second half, including Dingle fouling out with just five points on the night. Ernest Aflakpui also had three personal fouls in the game.
SMU was led by Ojeleye, who was seemingly unguardable throughout the game, and scored a game high 19 points, to go along with a game high nine rebounds. Ben Moore and Shake Milton each scored 18 points on the night.
The Owls are next in action saturday afternoon against East Carolina at the Liacouras Center.