Owls Win 20th Game Of The Season
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/26/2015 – The Temple Owls looked to bounce back after a two-game losing skid and did so beating the Houston Cougars 66 – 54 at the Liacouris Center in an American Athletic Conference game. With the win Temple gets win number twenty on the season, and Coach Fran Dunphy knows it was important for his Owls to break the losing streak.
“This was very important,” Dunphy said. “You need to win games. We’re in the home stretch. It’s crunch time now when you need to win games. I was proud of our guys especially in the second half where defensively we picked it up.”
Temple was able to overcome a 5-point halftime deficit by changing to a smaller lineup which effectively improved their defense against Houston, who had a hot shooting first half. The Owls defense forced the Cougars to miss their first ten shots of the half, and took away the three-point shot. In the half Houston made 8 of 25 from the floor (32%) and converted 1 of 8 shots from beyond the arc.
The Owls came alive early in the second half when senior guard Will Cummings stole the ball and got it to a streaking Jaylen Bond whose dunk and free throw put the Cherry and White in front 37 – 34. Bond, who scored 15 points, later broke a tie at 41 with a layup.
“That means you’re doing a good job on the defensive end when you get the ball out and run,” said Dunphy about the key sequence. “Will (Cummings) made a good pass getting it to Bond. That helped get our team up as well as the crowd.”
Junior guard Quenton DeCosey began to find the range and scored 12 second half points to give him a game-high 16. He also pulled down a career-high 9 rebounds. DeCosey shot 5 of 8 in the second half, 6 of 10 for the game. He started the second half scoring with a dunk.
It was an easy bucket,” said DeCosey. “I found myself under the basket against their zone. It started us off well in the second half.”
“I had a rough couple of games. Coming into this game I just wanted to play as hard as possible. Go out there and it paid off.”
Cummings scored 14 points and handed out a game-best 7 assists. Bond also had 9 rebounds. Senior guard Jesse Morgan was the other Temple player in double figures scoring 10 points. Temple shot 45% and had 17 assists on 27 baskets.
Guard LeRon Barnes led Houston with 15 points, while forwards Devonta Pollard had 14 and forward Danrad Knowles contributed 13.
Temple improves to 20 – 9 for the season and 11 – 5 in the AAC moving them into third-place in conference. The Owls travel to East Carolina on March 5, then finish the regular season on March 7 at home against Connecticut. For Temple the desire is to build momentum for the post-season.
“We’re looking to stay sharp both on offense and defense; continue to play hard and stay together as a team,” said DeCosey.
Written By: Glenn Papazian