PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/24/2019 – The remainder of the season will be American games for the Temple Owls men’s basketball team. Temple and Memphis had identical 4 – 1 records in the conference. The Owls could not afford to fall behind. It was a tough game, but the Cherry and White gutted it out and came out with an 85 – 76 win over the Memphis to remain one of four teams in the conference with one loss.
The game was physical and close down the stretch. Temple lead from start to finish, but needed to keep Memphis at arms length. It would require grit and determination on the Owls part.
“It required a lot of toughness,” said Owls guard Nate Pierre-Louis. “We got better and better the whole game.”
Temple got off to a fast start in the game getting out to an 20-point lead at the midway mark of the half behind hot three-point shooting from Quinton Rose. He had 18 first half points and finished with a season-high 26 points. Rose shot 9 for 17 from the floor and made 5 of 9 from beyond the arc, which tied his career-best.
“I work on my three’s in practice, so I am confident,” Rose said.
Temple could not pull away. Memphis made their charge by getting to the basket, and getting the Cherry and White into foul trouble. In the first half Temple forward J.P. Moorman II was called a flagrant foul 2 which resulted in his ejection. Later in the game Owls center Ernest Aflakpui and back up center Justyn Hamilton fouled out. It made Temple play smaller, which increased minutes for Aloni Moore II. That would pay dividends later in the game.
The Tigers pulled to within 77 – 72 with just over two and a half minutes to play. Owls guard Shizz Alston hit a dagger-three at the 2:20 mark. Down by 6 points Memphis guard Kareem Brewton drove to the basket. The ball was slapped away by Moore II off Brewton giving Temple possession with 1:18 to play. Moore II came up with another steal with 38 seconds on the clock. He was fouled and made two free throws to score 10 for the game.
“We get on him a lot being that he is the smallest guy on the team, he has to be a pest,” Rose said about Moore.
Memphis was driving the ball to the basket and had to since they made only one three-point basket in 23 tries. Temple was 10 of 27 from distance. Memphis had little going from outside.
“Every team will not have their best shooting night, and we didn’t shoot the ball well,” said Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin who scored a game and season-high 28 points. “I don’t think that was the reason why we lost the game. Three’s would have helped, but was not the reason why we lost.”
Memphis Coach Penny Hardaway played against Temple in his collegiate days as a Tiger. He knew what to expect.
“I haven’t been successful coming to Temple,” said Memphis Coach Penny Hardaway who played for the Tigers against the Owls. “We lost in the game back in the day and we lost today. Back then and now they make it hard for you. They try to be physical. That’s what you’re going to get when you play Temple.”
Temple (15 – 4) meets Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bearcats are currently tied with Houston for first place in the American with the Houston Cougars at 6 – 1. The Owls are a half game behind at 5 – 1. It will be another tough match for the Cherry and White.
“We will have our hands full, but look forward to the challenge,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy.
Written By: Glenn Papazian