Basketball may be in the postseason, but Temple basketball kept it close just like they did during the regular season.
In the first round of the AAC Tournament, the Owls barely topped Tulane 82-77.
Temple played catch-up for the majority of the first half. The Green Wave started to play with a 10-1 run, leaving the Owls with one field goal up until the first media timeout. Temple, a team that averages 8.2 three-pointers per game, was shooting just 14% from behind the arc with just seven minutes remaining in the first half. That 1-7 from three quickly adjusted to 5-12 (42%). That surge in three-point shooting and uncharacteristically good shooting from the free throw line10-13 (76%) in the first half gave Temple the momentum they needed going into halftime. The Owls have averaged only 68% from the foul line all season.
Similar to the Owls previous victory over Tulane, Temple was aided by a strong second half shooting attempt. In their 83-76 win, they shot 55% from the field and 62% from the three. In their 82-77 win, Temple shot 52% from the field and 66% from behind the arc in the second half. The three ball proved once again to be the difference. The Owls 11 made three-pointers sealed the deal. Five of which came from senior, Obi Enechionyia. The big man led all Owls with 19 points while shooting 5-7 from three.
Despite a strong shooting percentage from three-point range, the game still came down to the wire. The Owls, who had a lead as great as 13 points, found themselves up by only one with less than 30 seconds to play. Tulane was then forced to foul Shizz Alston, Temple’s leading free throw shooter, who averages 94% from the line. After making both of his foul shots, Brown followed up with a pair of free throws to secure a win for the Owls.
The Temple upperclassmen led the way for the Owls in the first round of the tournament. Enechionyia led all with 19 and grabbed 3 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Brown added 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Shizz Alston contributed 17 points and 8 assists with only one turnover.
Temple will advance to the second round of the AAC Tournament where they will take on Wichita State. The Owls split their regular season series with The Shockers. Tipoff is set for 7 pm on ESPNU.