Temple Flies by Tulsa to Snap Losing Streak
Written by: Rymir Vaughn
Photo by: Brian Mermelstein
Despite missing guard Khalif Battle, who was away from the team for “personal reasons,” Temple men’s basketball (15-13, 9-6 American Athletic Conference) handled Tulsa (5-21, 1-14 AAC) 76-53 at The Liacouras Center, ending its losing streak at three games.
Temple shot a scorching 57 percent from the field for the game, including a ridiculous 62 percent from the field and 54 percent from three in the second half.
In the first half, Temple was able to get quality looks from the field as a result of some purposeful passing.
“We shared it,” Temple head coach Aaron McKie said. “We just moved [the ball] and found the open guy. That’s really the way you want to play basketball.”
Defensively, the Owls played well, keeping Tulsa’s ball handlers in front of them and contesting shots when they went up. However, Tulsa was still able to convert on their attempts.
The first nine minutes of the first half was a back-and-forth affair.
With 10:53 left in the half, sophomore guard Hysier Miller drilled a wide open three-point jumper. This was the beginning of a 22-11 run by the Owls over the next nine-and-a-half minutes.
The run was led by sophomore forward Jamille Reynolds. Within that span, Reynolds had six points, one rebound, one assist and one block. Reynolds performed a few highlight-worthy plays during the span as well. Reynolds rolled off a high screen set for Miller and it resulted in a big alley-oop dunk that sparked a loud reaction from the fans.
Reynolds followed that up with another dunk and a block on the other end.
Despite what felt like a dominating performance, the Owls only held a seven-point lead at halftime, leading 37-30.
The second half saw more of the same from Temple’s defense. They continued to contest shots while also playing the passing lanes and forcing turnovers that led to fastbreak points. The Owl’s defense only allowed 23 points throughout the second half.
On the offensive end, it turned into the Damian Dunn show.
Quite literally, any shot Dunn took went in. In the second half alone, Dunn had 15 points on 6-6 shooting.
“Just shot making in space,” Dunn said. “All of my other brothers, just creating space and getting in gaps, playing with balance, and creating ways for me to get in there and make plays.”
The Owl’s dominated the second half. So much so, recent scholarship recipient Ryan Sayers played the final few minutes of the game
For the Owls, Dunn led the team in scoring with 24 total points. He also pitched in three rebounds and two assists. He took over the second half, including an 8-0 run by himself to push the game out of reach.
Junior guard Sam Griffin and junior forward Tim Dalger had 16 and 15 points respectively for the Golden Hurricane. Dagler also added seven rebounds.
Temple goes up against Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 22.