Written by: Sam Cohn
Photo by: Sam Cohn
Temple travelled to the Palestra for a Big 5 matchup with the Penn Quakers, but a slow start on Saturday afternoon dug a hole they couldn’t crawl out of in the 66-59 loss.
It took nine minutes before senior Quinton Rose took the lid off the rim. He would go on to finish with a team-high 21 points and four rebounds.
“I just kept telling those guys to keep defending. The shots will fall, just be confident,” McKie said. “If you get the shot, take it and be aggressive. I said, to get out of this, sometimes you have to attack the basket, crash into somebody to get a couple free throws.”
Their 14-point first half outing was the lowest scoring total to start a game since their 76-58 loss to Tulsa on Mar. 4, 2018 where they poured in 18 first half points.
Penn leads the Ivy league in points per game, averaging 76.9, but it was their defense that helped seal the win.
“I think it’s a strength of ours,” Penn head coach Steve Donahue said. “I think we can guard the perimeter and still not give up plays at the rim.”
“Quinton Rose and [Nate] Pierre-louis are so dynamic off the dribble,” Donahue added. “That was our biggest focus to try and not let them get to the rim by trying to stay in the gaps longer and Forrester has been really effective on the block.”
The other side of the coin is the Owls continuing to struggle shooting the ball.
Temple shot 23 for 75 on the day and connected just once from 3-point land on 13 attempts.
“We just got to stay together and keep pushing,” Rose said. “It starts in practice… It’s a part of the game we got to figure out.”
Playing without De’Vondre Perry (toe injury) and Josh Pierre-Louis (illness) proved costly to Temple’s halfcourt sets. Perry leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage while Pierre-Louis is one of their best at finishing around the rim.
“If you play this game long enough, you go through different phases,” McKie said. “Finishing, not finishing; making shots, not making shots; defending, not defending.”
The Quakers were led by AJ Brodeur and Jordan Dingle posting 19 and 15 points, respectively. Dingle, the cousin of former Owl Daniel Dingle, gave the Quakers a spark in the second half knocking down back-to-back 3’s after their lead was trimmed to five.
In pure Big 5 fashion, Temple made the game competitive cutting the lead back to just five with a minute to go but their lack of a closer held them from scoring in crunch time.
Temple has lost six of their last seven contests and find themselves struggling to turn things around. They’ll travel to UConn on Wednesday continuing conference play with a 10-9 record overall and 2-5 in conference play.