Twenty-three seconds remain in the second half, but the game is over. The clock is still ticking down, but the game is over. Temple’s best three-point shooter and leading scorer launches it from three, but it’s not good. The game is over.
After clawing back from a 19-2 deficit start to the game, the Temple Owls cannot complete the comeback. VCU pulls out on top with a 57-51 win.
The matchup started ugly for the Owls, but they turned it around midway through the first half. After shooting 9-37, less than 25% from the field, the Owls managed to nearly double their first-half shooting efforts. Temple more than tripled their percentage from three, going from 6.7% (1-15) to 23.1% (3-13). “It showed a lot of character,” said Nate Pierre-Louis, “…we came together, we faced adversity–our back was against the wall and we did a good job.”
The Rams opened the game with a full court press that sent their offensive rhythm into a frenzy. Through their first four games, the Owls turned the ball 12.8 times per game, and they had 8 turnovers in the first half alone.
Temple scoring leaders, Quinton Rose, and Shizz Alston Jr., struggled against the Rams’ pressure. The two combined for 14 points total and had only 2 between the pair at the half. Quinton Rose averaged just over 18 points heading into this matchup and Alston Jr. averaging 21.5.
The Owls had only one player in the double-figures, and even that was a stretch. Nate Pierre-Louis
led the team with 11 points. Pierre-Louis also grabbed eight rebounds and picked up six steals. “His defensive disrupted them a little,” Coach Dunphy said. “He’s such a ball of energy out there–his sizzle is exceptional. VCU had six steals altogether, even with their full-court pressure. The defensive effort from the Owls, led by Pierre-Louis, forced 19 VCU turnovers.
Despite the Rams turnovers and their early foul trouble in the second half, the Owls were not able to capitalize. Temple was in the bonus less than eight minutes into the second half, but they were not able to get to the foul line. They only attempted 15 free throws on the night. When they did get to the line, their overall good foul shooting did not translate to this game. Temple averaged over 70% from the foul line through their first four games, yet they shot 46% from the foul line against the Rams. They missed eight altogether and lost the matchup by six
Temple is set to take on Cal in the consolation game of the GotPrint Legends Classic on Tuesday, November, 20th. Tipoff is set for 5 o’clock and can be streamed on ESPNU.