Written by: Sam Cohn
Relentless defense and efficiency from the field propell the Temple Owls to an 85-76 victory over the Memphis Tigers in an AAC matchup on North Broad.
“They just play tough. They make it hard for you. They just try to be physical… I respect that. That’s what you’re going to get when you play Temple,” said Memphis Head Coach Penny Hardaway.
The Owls were firing on all cylinders right from the tip-off. A Quinton Rose steal and breakaway basket was just the start to his dominant performance. Rose finished the night with 26 points and five 3-pointers.
“[On] my first two, they were playing off me and daring me to shoot. I hit those then the basket kind of got big,” said Quinton Rose about his stellar shooting performance.
Despite Temple’s early 20-point lead, the Tigers didn’t give up. Memphis was able to close the gap to just three points with 16-minutes to go.
“It was just one guy scoring. Nobody else could get going, we just had to put the ball in the basket ourselves,” said Coach Hardaway about his team staying competitive.
A flagrant 2 foul call on Temple’s J.P. Moorman II hurt the Owls’ size at both ends of the floor and caused a short lull, which allowed Memphis to gain some momentum.
Just as the game started to get close, Rose gave a no-look pass that lead to a Justyn Hamilton And-1. The very next possession Rose took his defender to the baseline and finished at the rim through traffic which opened up the lead and gave the Owls confidence to keep both feet on the gas.
Memphis’ real struggle came from beyond the arc. They shot 1-23 from deep and just under 40% from the field. Their leading scorer was Jeremiah Martin, who finished the night with 28 points.
The Tigers had great difficulty finding ways to score against the home team’s lockdown defense. Temple showed a great deal of pressure high off the arc along with disciplined help-defense to stay aggressive jumping into passing lanes.
“I wouldn’t trade him for anything, that aggressiveness, how hard he plays, and the energy he brings us is terrific,” Fran Dunphy said in praise of his AAC player of the week, Nate Pierre-Louis.
It was a combination of Temple’s intensity and fast-paced style of play that was the difference maker in this game. It was a conviction that Memphis couldn’t hang with for 40 minutes.
WHIP Player of the Game
Quinton Rose’s performance was a major reason the Owls were able to pull out a victory. His ability to shoot is something that has been criticized about his play but tonight he silenced every one of those critics. Rose tallied 26 points on 9-17 shooting from the field and added 5 assists. Yet, it was his four threes in the first 10 minutes that gave him the confidence to take over the game and find different ways to score. He has shown signs of growth as an offensive threat all season and this game was no different. Rose adjusts well when the ball isn’t falling to get his teammates open but when he feels good about his shot, he can take over a game.