PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/25/2014 – The Temple Owls got a career-high 24 points from forward Mark Williams, but when the Owls turned up the defense late in the first half, the surge proved to be the difference as Temple held off the University of Pennsylvania 76 – 67 in a Big Five game at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Williams provided offense for the Owls as she made 8 of 12 from the floor and 2 big three-point shots. The sophomore forward from Cleveland made 6 of 7 from the free throw line and pulled down five rebounds, four on the offensive glass.
“I feel good but the ultimately the goal is to win,” Williams said about his contribution. “We won so that’s all that matters to me,”
“He is very confident and felt good shooting that three, and made a couple of them, and had inside plays that were very important,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said about the play of Williams. “He did some really good things on the offensive end.”
With the game tied at 30 with 4:46 to play the Cherry and White went on a 14 – 3 run behind four steals that led to easy baskets or trips to the foul line to increase the lead to 44 – 33 with 50 seconds to halftime. Temple had a 12 – 2 edge in points off turnovers in that half, and a 21 – 4 advantage for the game.
“Getting stops makes us feel good as a team,” said Temple guard Will Cummings who scored 16 points and handed out 5 assists. “We’re a team that feeds off that as we play better and get more energy. We need to focus in and get stops as it is our motto of what we do.”
Penn did not go away and kept in proximity in the second half. A key sequence with just over six and a half minutes left to play Penn guard Tony Hicks, who led the Red and Blue with 17 points, fouled out with his team trailing 64 – 59.
“Tony is an important player for us,” said Penn Coach Jerome Allen about Hicks. “The attention he draws on the offensive end allows other to play without help. They guys coming down the stretch did a good job.”
The Quakers did. Sophomore guard Matt Howard provided offense as he accounted for a career-best 15 points and 6 rebounds. The Red and Blue got to within at 70 – 67 with 1:45 on the clock, but the Cherry and White responded by making 8 straight free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Temple also got 14 points from Quenton DeCosey and 11 from guard Aaron Brown as the Owls improve to 3 – 2 on the season. They will take the floor on November 30 at home against LIU Brooklyn.
Penn (0 – 4) is looking for their first win of the season. Their next outing will be against Wagner on November 29. The Quakers can build upon this effort in New York,
“We’re young and learning how to win, and I’m confident that in these losing experiences we will look at it from the right perspective and get better,” Allen said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian