Temple Drops Fourth Straight, Loses at Home to Wichita State
Written by: Declan Landis
Photo by: Zack Silverstein
After Temple men’s basketball (14-13, 8-6 American Athletic Conference) took a 62-58 with 6:23 remaining in the second half, Wichita State (14-12, 7-7 AAC) used a 14-0 run over 2:27 to take lead back for the final time, and its momentum carried the team to a 79-65 victory at The Liacouras Center.
The Shockers ended the game on a 21-3 run over the last 6:06.
“We were on a 13-0 run, so everyone was energized and making stops,” sophomore forward Zach Hicks said. “I feel [like] anytime [we face] adversity, we fall apart from each other.”
Though they struggled offensively at times, shooting 23-56 from the field and 10-24 from three, the Shockers outrebounded the Owls 42-26, including 12 offensive rebounds compared to Temple’s six. This enabled the Shockers to keep possessions alive, scoring 12 second-chance points.
When asked about the team’s frustration with getting out-rebounded, Temple head coach Aaron McKie said it’s all about the mindset for his team, one that wasn’t there tonight.
“Sometimes, when you watch boxing and see a guy with a cut eye or he’s bleeding, people will say, ‘Stop the fight,’” McKie said. “In the boxer’s mind, he’s thinking, ‘They’re going to have to carry me out of here.’ You have to have that mindset when teams are being physical.”
Ultimately, those hustle plays pushed Wichita State over the top, as Hicks noted postgame.
“I think we need to start taking advantage of the paint more,” Hicks said. “This team tried to bury us in the paint like every other team tries to do, but we didn’t reciprocate the energy.”
Wichita State was led by junior guard Jaykwon Walkton, who finished with 21 points, and sophomore forward Kenny Pohto, who finished with 12 points and 2 blocks. In total, the Shockers had all 9 players who checked in to the game score at one field goal.
The Shockers played good defense throughout the game, but the Owls failed to hit shots when it mattered. Wichita State built up a lot of momentum, and Temple could not stop their outside shooting.
The two star players for the Owls, guards Damian Dunn and Khalif Battle, had rough nights as well. Battle shot 0-4 and barely played in the second half. Dunn struggled as well, scoring 14 on 3-13 shooting from the field. Though he provided a spark at times, his effort fell short.
“I thought, with some of the shots we took, we could’ve worked a little bit more,” McKie said. “We had a good flow with the ball, but we didn’t do enough with finding good shots.”
Hicks started off hot, shooting 5-6 from the field and 2-3 from three in the first half. In the second, he continued to shoot well and finished with 15 points.
Outside of Hicks and sophomore guard Hysier Miller, the Owls struggled from the floor. Miller finished with 17 points, shooting 6-13 from the field and 3-9 from three.
Excluding Miller and Hicks, the rest of the Owls shot 11-34 from the field.
“We are looking forward to the game Sunday,” Miller said. “Just trying to get back on the winning side of things.”
The Owls have two days to recollect themselves following this loss. They return to The Liacouras Center Sunday to face Tulsa (5-20, 1-13 AAC) at 2 pm.