Written by : Dan Wanser
Image by: Irish Haines
The First Four game between Temple and Belmont seemed more like a track meet at times than a basketball game.
Belmont opened the game on an 8-2 run and added runs of 7-0 and then 5-0 before the first half concluded. A 10-0 Temple run which gave the Owls a brief lead about halfway through the first half may have been the only thing keeping the game close, with Belmont leading by six, 37-31, at the half.
“Today’s one of those games they hit a couple shots to go up 10… you gotta live with it”, said Shizz Alston Jr. “We needed one possession to stop the run we just never got it. They hit some big time 3s, contested 3s that we were there but just some big time shots”.
The second half would be no different, as Belmont opened the half on a 5-0 run and had scored the games last ten to take an 11 point lead which seemed to put Temple up against the ropes.
Temple then responded, lead by the 3-point shooting of senior captain Shizz Alston Jr, putting together a 21-5 run which concluded with them leading by five with just over 11 minutes remaining in the second half.
That’s where Temple’s momentum ended however, as Belmont would score the next nine points to put them up for good, eventually winning by a score of 81-70
“Toward the end of the game we weren’t as efficient, weren’t as sharp, and weren’t as crisp as we needed to be”, added Head Coach Fran Dunphy. “When we did get to the rim we didn’t finish. When we got to the foul line we missed a couple of foul shots too.”
For Temple, this loss will mark the end of the Fran Dunphy era as he will step down as Head Coach. Current Associate Head Coach Aaron McKie will take over for next season. Dunphy lead the Owls for the last 13 seasons and spent 17 seasons coaching at University of Pennsylvania before that.