A Big 5 matchup tipped off late this afternoon from the Tom Gola Arena in front of a raucous crowd as the Temple Owls took a short trip up north to take on the LaSalle Explorers.
LaSalle won this contest in thrilling fashion by a score of 87-83.
Temple came into this game fresh off their win this past Sunday against Clemson in the championship game of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina.
LaSalle was winners of their first three games including one against fellow Big 5 team, the Penn Quakers. Since their 3-0 start, they’ve dropped their last games, most recently an 11-point loss to 11th ranked Miami FL.
In the first half, Temple jumped out to take a double-digit point lead over the Explorers. Quinton Rose was a big factor in the first half, making shot after shot, scoring 13 out of Temple’s 43 points.
With under two minutes to go in the half, LaSalle cut the Temple lead to 2 after an 8-0 run led by LaSalle’s Pookie Powell who scored 11 in the half. Temple entered halftime with a 43-37 lead.
The second half started out with both teams trading baskets early and often. That is until LaSalle went on yet another run with about 8 minutes remaining in the game when they tied up the game at 66.
The game would later be tied at 76 with under 3 minutes remaining until Obi Enechionyia hit another big three-pointer to put the Owls ahead. The teams would then go on the see-saw trading baskets and the lead.
With exactly, 1 minute remaining Temple led 81-80. Shortly after, LaSalle’s Pookie Powell would hit a three to put the Explorers up 83-81 and they wouldn’t look back.
Temple’s top scorer and rebounder was Quinton Rose who finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist. The team’s leader in assists was Josh Brown with 7, to go along with 11 points and 3 rebounds. Also in double-figures for the Owls’ were Shizz Alston (18) and Obi Enechionyia (16, 4-5 from three-point land).
For the Explorers’ their top performer was Pookie Powell, who scored 29 points including the go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute remaining. His 29 points went along with 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Also, a big factor on offense was B.J. Washington who scored 25 points.
Temple had a better shooting percentage (55.7% to 49.3%), out-rebounded (32-31), and had more assists (13-12) then LaSalle, but still went down today.
The loss gives Temple their first of the season and next they will face South Carolina on Thursday at 9:00 PM.