Temple seems to becoming accustomed to close game victories. Following their defeat of the University of Southern Florida, the Owls have now have won 3-straight games by 4 points or less.
Fresh off of their upset win against Houston, Temple came fast out gates Saturday afternoon. Just a few minutes after tip-off, Nate Pierre-Louis found Quinton Rose for a huge alley-oop dunk. The tone was set for the half from that play on. With the help of some stingy defense, which held USF to shooting 28% from the field, 23% from 3, and forced the Bulls into 9 turnovers, the Owls took an early 14-point lead into halftime.
The second half was a different story than the first. USF opened up the half with a 27-5 run eventually claiming their first lead of the game. Temple answered with a pair of 3’s courtesy of Rose and Shizz Alston Jr. From that point on the game became a shoot out. With the game tied Alston attempted a game-winning step-back 3-pointer, but missed forcing the game into overtime.
Overtime saw a similar story to the 2nd half with both teams jockeying for the lead. In total the game saw 6 lead changes and 7 ties.
Following a pair of timely free throw conversions by Rose to go along with 2 missed free throws by USF, the Owls closed out the Bulls 82-80.
The win against USF now improves Temple’s record to 13-3 only losing to UCF, Villanova and VCU. Despite winning 6 of their last 7 games, sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis thinks the team can play better. “We are not playing our best basketball. Once we do, it’s going to get scary.”
The Owls will look to take this momentum into their next game against ECU on the 16th of January.