PHILADELPHIA- Four of Philadelphia’s Big 5 teams were on display at the Palestra Wednesday night, including Temple and La Salle.
Battling 50 years after the conception of the Big 5, this time it was the Owls coming away with a 62-59 victory.
Rested and recharged from a double overtime fight against Cincinnati, the Owls came out hustling and eventually wore down the depleted Explorers. La Salle did not make a substitution in the first half, as all five started played the full 20 minutes, and only one more Explorer found the court in the second half
Temple played as a cohesive bunch to top the Explorers, shooting over 50% as a team while no player took over 10 shots. Leading the way was senior Josh Brown, who tallied 12 points on 5-8 shooting and 4 assists. Brown also held La Salle’s Jorden Price, who entered scoring over 21 points per game, to a measly 11 on 4-21 shooting. Fellow seniors Jaylen Bond Quenton Decosey 10 and 12 points, respectively.
While it was the three seniors that scored half of the Owls points, it was the two freshmen that stole the show early on. Young guns Trey Lowe and Ernest Aflakpui both got the start, and made the presence felt. Lowe made an early impact, knocking down a contested three-pointer and later snatching away the inbounds pass and finishing with a thundering two-handed dunk and with the foul. Lowe would go on to convert the three-point play. He finished with eight points, two rebounds and two assists.
Adakpui, who was rumored to be red-shirting this season, was a force under the glass. In only 15 minutes on the court, he grabbed three rebounds and scored six points, all of them coming in the paint.
The Owls only turned the ball over six times and held an opponent under 50 points for the first time this season.
The Owls will have their biggest test of the season next. They will take on the #8 SMU Mustangs who still remain undefeated. That game was postposed from Saturday night and will now tip off at noon on Sunday.