For the last time in his coaching career Fran Dunphy faced off against his former team Penn. Unfortunately for the Owls, it came as a loss.
Temple found themselves playing from behind for the majority of the contest. Following Penn retaking the lead at the 16:01 mark of the first half, the Owls were unable to recapture the lead.
The Quakers defense gave the Owls headaches early on. They were able to limit Temple to shooting just 34% from the field and 20% from 3 in the first half. “Getting them to take the shots we wanted them to take,” Penn’s AJ Brodeur said when asked about their defensive strategy. “We knew which of their players were more adept in taking those tough pull up shots and we tried to get it out of their hands.”
One player this surely was true for was Shizz Alston Jr. Coming into the game Temple’s leading scorer, Alston struggled today converting on just 5 of his 18 shots and 2 of 7 3-pointers.
The second half was a different story offensively converting on 51% of their shots. The Owls opened up the half hot going on a quick 5-0 run, but were quickly cooled off by some timely Penn baskets.
It seemed that “bend, but don’t break” mentality was the story of the night for the Quakers as they answered each of Temple’s late game pushes.
The Owls last chance came in the final 2 minutes of play as Nate Pierre-Louis scored 6 unanswered points to cut the lead down to 5, but once again, the Quakers did not break.
Coming off of a Brodeur pass, Jake Slipe hit a dagger 3 to ice the game with just 39 seconds left.
This loss drops the Owls to 14-4 and snaps their 4-game winning streak. Conversely, it ends a 4-game losing streak for the Quakers and gives them a chance to be the outright winners of the Big 5 championship if they beat St. Joe’s on the 26th of January.
Temple will look to bounce-back in an AAC clash with Memphis on Thursday.