After overcoming the 40-37 defensive struggle against the reigning Patriot League champs Friday, the Owls endured another tough non-conference opponent at home in Louisiana Tech.
The Bulldogs surged out of the gates early on a 12-5 run with SG Raheem Appleby outscoring the Owls on the drive. Head Coach Fran Dunphy calls a quick time out. The Owls pulled to within one with every starter hitting a field goal but the Bulldogs once again went on a romp of their own.
Nailing three three pointers during the stretch Louisiana Tech went up by double digits. The Owls climbed back into the contest with an array of free throws from the charity stripe. Hitting 12/14 from the line, the Owls’ understood their shots weren’t falling and decided to take it to the basket in an attempt to counteract their struggles.
To open the second, starters Quinton DeCosey and Daniel Dingle knocked down jumpers to put the Owls ahead by one. The Bulldogs were struggling hitting 1/6 from the floor before freshman guard made a layup with 12:17 to go in the game.
Both teams shared baskets until DeCosey knocked down a three putting the Owls up nine. Senior PG Will Cummings struggled mightily in the contest but also knocked down a jumper which gave Temple their first double digit lead of the game with almost 5:00 to go in the second half.
In a bizarre turn of events, the Owls attempted 20 free throws throughout the final five minutes while only attempting four shots. They hit 16 while putting pressure on Louisiana Tech to keep up the pace in the contest. Appleby tried to propel his team to an upset victory on the road but his efforts failed in the end.
The Owls held on 82-75 for the night and pushed their record to 2-0 on the season knocking off two touch mid-major squads. Sophomore Josh Brown was an instrumental force of the bench for Temple as the starters once again struggled to hit shots.
The shooting guard went 6-9 from the field to finish with 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Temple dominated from the line making more free throws than the amount Louisiana Tech attempted. The Owls have yet to feature their trio of transfers that joined the team in the off-season but their guards look to be the catalyst in an attempt to reach the NCAA tournament once again.
The Owls will face college basketball powerhouse Duke (2-0) in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Friday which looks to be their most daunting challenge of the year.