Written by: Eileen Wickline – @eileenwickline
Temple came onto North Broad today looking for revenge against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. With the Owls coming into this game 4-1 in February, that one loss was served by none other than their opponent today on their home court earlier in the month.
Today, the Owls split the season series 1-1 and sailed past Tulsa 84-73. Temple now advances to 20-7 on the season and gives head coach Fran Dunphy his ninth 20-win season in his 13 years with the Owls. This is also the first time they recorded this many wins since the 2015-16 season, which is also the last time they made the NCAA tournament.
“They’re really hard to play,” Dunphy said on their opponent, “We figured out a way to get more points today and get more shots in a timely fashion.”
Shizz Alston Jr. scored 24 points and Quinton rose scored 23 points which helped the Owls maintain a steady separation through out the majority of the game. As for the team they shot 51 percent overall, which is over a 20 percent increase from the last time these two teams met up.
Rose started the game with scoring 7 straight points in a 12-0 run to give the Owls a lead which the team will hold for the entirety of the game.
“We came off a tough win at South Florida, to get another one it means alot,” Rose said about the win, “They were trying to run us off the three point line and we fought back and took advantage of that.”
Besides Rose and Alston Jr., the rest of the team had impressive performances. Nate Pierre-Louis and Justyn Hamilton were both able to put double digit scores, Pierre-Louis’ marked this game as his 21st time this season where he was able to put up double digits.
Defensively, the Owls were not able to hold Tulsa back and slipped into a bit of foul trouble, specifically in the second half. However, Damion Moore came off the bench and used his size to his advantage to mark six rebounds. Moore was credited with four in the early stretch of the second half which helped the Owls re-establish the lead.
Going forward, the Owls are looking to a stretch of tough conference play to end out their season. Up next is Memphis, which can be a quadrant one win to help the Owls in the terms of the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m always going to like our chances, they say all we have to do is win, and I like our chances to win games,” Alston said about the tournament chances, “We just have to play fast and match our opponents.”
The Owls are in a better spot than they were last year. They have recorded three more wins than they had all season last season. There are four more games before the conference tournament where Temple currently sits at a number four seed.
Temple has two more away games and two more home games before they will travel to the conference tournament in Memphis. The team is looking to putting some more wins under their belt before they get to that point.
“Every game is a championship game,” Alston Jr. said on the conclusion of the season, “Winning is the more important.”