Temple Basketball lost their third straight and sixth of the last seven games against the Penn Quakers with a final score of 66 to 59.
The Owls main struggle of the afternoon was hitting any kind of shot offensively. The team shot 30% from the field, and 1 of 13 (8%) from beyond the arc. The lone 3 pointer came from J.P Moorman in the second half.
The worst of Temple’s shooting struggles came early in the first half, letting Penn score 14 points straight out of the gate. The Owls first got on the board almost ten minutes into the game with a Quinton Rose layup, and went into halftime down 25 to 16.
“Gotta put the ball in the hole,” said Head Coach Aaron McKie after the game. “Even though we didn’t score the ball I thought our defense was pretty solid. And again, just putting too much pressure on our defense because of our offense. It’s being comfortable, it’s being confident” he said.
While going 10-25 from the field Quinton Rose led Temple scoring with 21 points. The only other player to score in double figures was Jake Forrester who double-doubles with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
When asked how they plan to fix their slump, Rose answered, “Just gotta stay together and keep pushing. Keep working every day. It starts in practice.”
Like Coach McKie said, Temple’s first half defensive effort was enough to keep the game from ending before halftime, holding Penn to 25 points in the first twenty minutes. Temple forced 17 turnovers and 10 steals while only turning the ball over 7 times.
While the offense did find some rhythm at times, the struggles continued throughout the second half. The closest they got to taking the lead was a four point differential after a fast break dunk from Quinton Rose with only 39 seconds to go in the game. Temple had started to foul with two minutes to go to slow the clock and try to stay in the game.
In the closing seconds the Quakers made their free throws to close out a seven point win. Unlike the Owls, Penn improved their offense in the second half, shooting at least 50% in all categories compared to 35% from the field in the first half. Forward AJ Brodeur lead the way with a double-double of 19 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists. Three other Quakers scored in double figures, including Guard Jordan Dingle who hit three buckets for three and totaled 15 points.
Temple drops their first Big 5 game in front of a packed and electric crowd at the Palestra. Their last Big 5 matchup will come on February 16th when the Villanova Wildcats visit the Liacouras Center.
After starting 9 and 3, Temple’s slump has brought their record all the way down to 10 and 9. Temple will have two important games to get out of their slump, starting at UConn on Wednesday and then at home against ECU on Saturday.