Shooting Aside, Defense Grounds American Eagles

A last second heave by freshman PG Pee-Wee Gardner grazed the rim but didn’t fall through as the Temple Owls (1-0) held on Friday to defeat the American Eagles (0-1) 40-37.

The rust was evident at the Liacouras Center as the wait affected both teams.The Owls started strong going on a 10-0 run highlighted by a three pointer from sophomore SF Mark Williams. American cut the deficit to six on the play of SG John Schoof, who led the team with 12 points, but Temple would storm back to finish the half up 12. American had an absurdly low total of 11 points in their first twenty minutes of the season.

The Owls stalled in the second half while Schoof hit a three to cut the lead to eight with 17 minutes left in play. Williams responded with two free throws and a layup while the rest of the young team went 0-10 from the field in the first 10 minutes of the half.

American wasn’t a threat themselves. Only making four field goals in 15 minutes, the upstarts couldn’t capitalize on the Owls’ struggles. The Eagles finally upshifted their intensity down 11 with 2:36 to go. Two missed three pointers by the Owls and nine unanswered by American relegated the lead to only two. The Eagles went 4/4 from the field during their run while starting off 8/34.

PG Will Cummings went to the line for two with the score 37-39. Cummings sank the first but back-rimmed the sub-sequential attempt. American stalled in their final possession with Gardner chucking up a contested three for the tie but missed the mark on the attempt.

Temple finished 11/48 (22.9%) from the field in a disappointing start to the season. Cummings and SG Quinton DeCosey, Temple’s high volume stars, went a combined 2/20 with Daniel Dingle leading the non-existent charge at 50%. A bright spot for the team was holding last year’s leading scorer for American, Jesse Reed, to 2/6 from the floor with six points and four turnovers.

The Owls face the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech Monday 7:00 P.M.

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