Temple needed a bounce-back win tonight following an upset loss to Tulsa. In a gritty, close game against a scrappy SMU team, the Owls pulled out a much-needed win.
While the score may have read 82-74, the game was much closer. During the first half the two teams were neck-and-neck. SMU gave Temple fits offensively holding the Owls to just 35% from the field and 25% from 3. Quinton Rose carried the load offensively in the half scoring 12 of the team’s 34 points. Still, SMU did not budge keeping the score knotted at 34.
The second half was much of the same for the two teams staying close down the stretch of the game. The Owls were essentially playing a game of “keep away’ as SMU made several late-game pushes. With the help of a few Jamal McMurray and Ethan Chargois 3’s, the Mustangs were able to tie the game twice in the final 5 minutes.
Luckily for Temple, senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. caught fire late in the game scoring 11 straight points and hitting several clutch shots. Alston single-handedly pushed the Owls to a 7-point lead in the final minutes of the game. Nate Pierre-Louis provided the exclamation mark with 20-seconds left with a breakaway dunk.
Obviously led by Alston with 28, Temple was able to get contributions from all of their “Big 3” who attributed for 59 of the team’s 82 points. Justyn Hamilton also provided a spark off the bench with a few big dunks and timely rebounds.
The Owls will now turn their attention to the 17-7 USF Bulls. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on Saturday.