Tulane’s Hot Shooting Was Too Much For Temple, Snapping the Owls’ 3-Game Conference Win Streak

Written by: Zachary Silverstein

Photo by: Ajay Patel

After a back-and-forth affair, Temple falters late, losing 87-76 to Tulane before a rambunctious crowd at The Liacouras Center.  

The Owls jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first 3:18 of the game, but a scoring drought, which lasted just over three minutes, allowed the Green Wave to hop in front 9-8. 

The teams battled the entire first half, going back and forth until Tulane led 33-27 with 2:10 remaining. The six-point lead by Tulane was tied for the largest by either team in the half – Temple led 6-0 to open the game. 

Both teams took tremendous care of the basketball in the first half, with both the Owls and the Green Wave committing just three turnovers each. 

The main struggle for both teams was field goal shooting, with Temple and Tulane shooting 43.3% and 44.8% respectively. The Owls specifically struggled from both the three-point line and the free throw line, shooting 3-16 (18.8%) and 5-8 (62.5%) respectively. 

Redshirt sophomore guard Damian Dunn was the only Owl to score in double figures during the first 20 minutes, scoring 11 points on 4-7 shooting (2-4 from the free throw line). 

“Very uncharacteristic,” Temple head coach Aaron McKie said when asked about his team’s poor free throw shooting. “Especially Damian, who is usually very good from the line.” 

The first 7:44 of the second half saw the same back-and-forth trend as the first half. Then, with 12:16 remaining, the energy in The Liacouras Center shifted. 

Temple sophomore guard Jahlil White was called for a questionable foul, and after voicing his displeasure with the referee in a seemingly calm manner, he was given a technical foul. McKie also received a technical foul when he gave the referee an earful while defending White.  

“At that point it was too late,” McKie said when asked if he was given an explanation as to why White was assessed the technical foul. “You make the call, and you can’t take it back. We were upset with some of the things that were going on during the course of the game, so I was a little surprised that he called that technical foul so fast.” 

Tulane’s junior guard Jaylen Forbes made all four technical free throws, and then just 11 seconds later, junior forward Kevin Cross made a jump shot, giving the Green Wave six points in the 11 seconds after the technical fouls were assessed. 

The Temple faithful roared with “Ref, you suck” chants, and then all of a sudden, the Owls found themselves leading 61-58 after going on a 13-2 run in just under two minutes. 

“We were moving well,” Dunn said. “We didn’t stop getting out in transition. Just getting stops and pushing the ball early before they could set up their defense.”

Unfortunately for Temple, Tulane was able to lock in despite the rowdy crowd. The Green Wave pulled away and led by at least five points for all but 17 seconds of the remaining 6:55.  

The loss wiped away the Owls’ chances of starting 4-0 in American Athletic Conference play for the first time in program history.  

Temple will head to Tulsa on Tuesday, Jan. 10, where they will take on the Golden Hurricane at 8 p.m. on ESPN+. 

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