Owls snatch win on road in tale of two halves

Temple played an exceptional second half of basketball to seal a win against Big 5 rival St. Joe’s, 77-70, on Saturday night.

Charlie Brown Jr. and Jared Bynum tallied a total of 28 points for the Hawks in the first half. St. Joe’s came out firing on all cylinders, pushing a defensive tempo that Temple could not match early on.

The Owls couldn’t do anything to stop junior guard Lamarr Kimble from finishing at the rim. He finished the day with 12 points, including a few smooth crossovers that led to reverse layups through traffic.

Temple put up a lackluster 39% shooting from the field and 14% from beyond the arc in the first. It wasn’t until it came out of the locker room for the last 20 minutes that it found its confidence and touch.

“I was shocked we were down eight at the half,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “It felt more like 18.”

Temple was in control right from the get-go in the second half, forcing rushed shots and bad passes leading to turnovers.

Offensively, it was able to find success using high screens to open passing lanes down low or to kick to the corner. That spread out their scoring numbers and helped get everybody involved.

“One of our goals was to not have the game decided by the other guys,” said longtime SJU coach Phil Martelli about limiting Temple’s bench production.

Martelli conceded that the Hawks did not play 40 minutes of strong defensive basketball. He wanted to ensure that the Owls had as few points off the bench as possible along with limiting the productivity of the Owls leading scorers, Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose.

Fran Dunphy sent out a nine-man rotation that posted 24 points off the bench.

Both coaches mentioned the importance of the match against a city Big 5 opponent.

“In the city of Philadelphia, with the history and the tradition, it’s so much to win these games,” said Dunphy.

Martelli said it was “really a game and a half every time you play a city opponent”.

After Saturday’s road win, the Owls improved to 7-1 on the season, looking forward to a game they’ve had circled on their calendars all season. Temple will travel to Villanova to take on the Wildcats on Wednesday night in hopes of continuing its tremendous start.

WHIP Player of the Game

J.P. Moorman was exactly the spark the team needed off the bench. He finished the day with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists through 23 minutes. More importantly, he hit a clutch three from the top of the arc to extend their lead in crunch time along with grabbing a few big rebounds late in the game. Dunphy mentioned after the game the importance of Moorman’s productivity and his hopefulness that he will become a key member in the team’s rotation.

Photo: Owl Sports

Whaddya gotta say to that?