Calling the Temple Owls 2015 campaign a shooting struggle wouldn’t be justice for the team from North Philly.
Coming into the game, the Owls had a more porous percentage than teams that included Abilene Christian, Bryant and UMass Lowell. No power five conference team here. Frank Heath, former Miami and Missouri lead man had his Tulsa team ready in a battle of unbeatens.
Turnovers and missed attempts beyond the arc resulted in a deadlock 0-0 game until 17:02 when Shaq Harrison. We’ll get to him in a bit. The offensive struggle saw the Owls first field goal come in just over eight minutes into the contest.
Relegated to the bench after the Jaylen Bond earned eligibility, Mark Williams has shined in a bench role for the team. The sophomore sank a three to give the Owls a 7-6 lead and wouldn’t let go of the advantage.
Josh Brown, Obi Enechionyia and Devin Coleman stepped up off the bench to give Temple a six point lead heading into the half.
The Cherry and White opened the second half fueled by a stretch of efficient shooting from the charity stripe.
Guards Will Cummings and Quenton DeCosey each hit three free throws to push the Owl lead to 11 early in the second half. The 11 point advantage reached the 11:23 mark but the Golden Hurricane would be near their momentous surge.
James Woodard and Shaq Harrison initiated dual beast modes after going down double digits. The dynamic duo combined for 18 points, which became a more substantial benefactor against Temple and their scoring output or lack thereof.
Temple would cut the lead to four after falling down seven late but Tulsa knocked down their shots from the line and crusaded to a 63-56 well earned victory.
Tulsa, albeit finishing at 36 percent from the field, took advantage of Cummings’ injury in the second half. Relying on perimeter and contested jumpers to eek out victories needs to be a focal point for coach Fran Dunphy to illustrate his team going forward.
Harrison finished with 26 and was able to find his looks from anywhere on the field. Jaylen Bond was the most efficient Owl finishing with a 16 point 14 board night.
Temple (12-5, 2-1) will try to fix the glaring holes wednesday when they host the mustangs of SMU.