Temple Wins the Battle of the Birds, 78-72

cyjxcr_wgaalfhu-jpg-largePhiladelphia, PA- Coming off after upsetting two Top-25 teams, Temple got off to a slow start. St. Joe’s opened the game with an 11-2 run. The Hagan Arena was rocking, and fully intended on assisting the Hawks knock that chip off of Temple’s shoulder. The Hawks came up short. Temple barely escaped this back and forth battle with 78-72 victory. A sold out Big 5 match ups, on the road shows to be one of this teams first true tests of the season.

Starting off the Owls could not buy a bucket. Without Obi, the Owls would have been down 34-18 going into the half. The offense started slow, but it picked up velocity as the intensity of the game increased. They went from shooting 41.9% in the first, to 56.3% in the second. Both teams had at least three players scoring in double figures. Rose has scored in double figures in 5 of Temple’s 7 games, and is currently the second leading scorer on the team.


For the fifth time this season, Obi Enechionyia has scored 20+ in five of the Owls seven contacts. He led all scorers with 26 points. The big man played all 40 minutes, and shot 50% from behind the arc (6-12), and 45% from the field (10-22) while picking up 5 rebounds. At one point he was 6/9 from the field with 18 points while the rest of the team was 6/19 and only had 15 points. Not bad from the AAC, NCAA.com, and Big 5 Player of the Week.


Temple coming into this game had a serious height advantage. Starting two guys that are 6’ 10”, while St. Joe’s starting center is only 6’ 7”. Yet, somehow the Owls still managed to get out rebounded 36-35. Freshman, Quinton Rose led all Owls with 6 boards, Obi Enechionyia, Ernest Aflakpui, and Alani Moore all recorded 5 rebounds.


So far this season, freshmen, Alani Moore and Quinton Rose have been putting in big minutes due to the absence of senior point guard, Josh Brown. The prognosis of Brown’s season has been up the air since his injury occurred in the off season. When Brown entered his first game of the season, on the road, for a Big 5 matchup, he had no choice but to sink his first field goal attempt. His return sent a resurgence through the Temple crowd, as well as his teammates. How the connectivity of the team will change is still uncertain, but Temple fans, players, and Phil Martelli are, “…delighted that Josh Brown played.”


The Owls improve to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big 5. Temple takes on another big 5 Rival, Penn, Saturday December 3rd at 4pm at the Liacouras Center. Penn is not only a member of the Big 5, but Fran Dunphy’s former team.

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