Temple Drops Final Regular Season Game Against Tulane, Finishes Fifth in AAC
Written by: Adrian Maghacot
Photo by: Zack Silverstein
With the opportunity to complete the 15-point comeback, Temple men’s basketball (16-15, 10-8 American Athletic Conference) fell to Tulane (19-10, 12-6 AAC) 83-82 at Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.
After missing two free throws, guard Damian Dunn made a second-chance three pointer with 33 seconds left in the game to tie the game for the first time since the 14:41 mark in the first half. However, Tulane guard R.J. McGee made two clutch free throws with 14 seconds left, and a block from guard Sion James closed the game for the Green Wave.
Dunn shouldered most of the work by scoring 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting while grabbing five rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
The Owls immediately relied on the three-pointer, making three of their 16 attempts. While the Owls were cold from deep, forward Kur Jongkuch grabbed two of the team’s seven offensive rebounds to get multiple second-chance opportunities.
On the other hand, Tulane guard and leading scorer Jalen Cook sparked the team after scoring 14 points on 6-9 shooting, four assists, and two rebounds. After an 11-2 run started by James, the Green Wave pushed their lead to 10 going into halftime.
Despite the wide margin, the Owls came alive in the second half, outscoring the Green Wave 48-39. Temple also outrebounded Tulane 20-16, nine of which came from forwards Nick Jourdain and Jamille Reynolds.
With 5:26 left in the game, guard Jaylen Forbes went up for a rebound and called a time out after sliding on the floor. Dunn kept grabbing on the ball, and both teams started exchanging words before being separated by the officials.
After the six minute review, one assistant coach from each team was ejected, and Temple guard Jahlil White and Tulane forward Tylan Pope both received technical fouls. The Owls scored six more free throws after the scuffle, but they were unable to score a field goal in the last 2:26 of the game.
Tulane had several shooters contributing to their win, as four players scored 66 of the team’s 83 points, including: Cook’s 24, forward Kevin Cross’ 16, Forbes’ 16, and James’ 10. Cross also had a team-high nine rebounds and six assists.
Temple also had a barrage of scorers, with five being in double digits: Dunn’s 21, Reynolds’ 17, White’s season-high 14, forward Zach Hicks’ 13, and Jourdain’s 10. Jourdain led the team with eight rebounds, and guard Hysier Miller had a team-high five assists.
Temple finished as a fifth seed heading into the AAC Tournament. The team clinched a first-round bye and will move into the quarterfinals, facing Cincinnati (20-11, 11-7 AAC) at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX, on Friday, Mar. 10, at 3 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN+.