PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/3/2019 – Every game is critical for the Temple Owls in pursuit of an NCAA Tournament bid. They can not afford let downs, and avoided one with an 80 – 69 win over the Tulane Green Wave. Quinton Rose led the Owls with a career-high 29 points making 13 of 21 from the floor and 2 of 7 three-pointers.
“I was just feeling it,” said Rose about his offensive performance. “I felt like I could get to the basket every time and needed to finish when I got there and I did.”
Also contributing to the win was senior guard Shizz Alston, Jr. who scored 22 points. He converted 2 of 7 from three-point land. With that he set a new program record for made three-pointers in consecutive games with 40 surpassing Dionte Christmas. Alston, Jr. is among the nation leaders in number of games with a made three-point field goal. The senior guard also handed out 8 assists and moves into 8th place in career assists in Temple history with 132 passing Mardy Collins. He was thinking team, not records. Alston, Jr. knows that the team can afford no losses in getting the NCAA Tournament bid and needed to detour past a Tulane upset bid.
We didn’t feel any pressure, but it was in the back of our minds,” Alston, Jr. said. “We knew that if we came out and played the way we can, we would get the victory.”
In this game the Owls took the lead within the first four minutes and never were headed after that. The Cherry and White looked to break the game open early in the second half moving in front 51 – 30 in a three-pointer by J.P. Moorman II at the 16:45 mark. However, the Green Wave would answer with an 18 – 5 run to get to within single digits with 12 minutes left.
“When we had the opportunity in the second half to put space between us and them, we didn’t do it,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy. “We had a break away layup that would have put us up 23, but we didn’t do it. “They ran it down really quickly. You had the momentum where everybody is expecting you to do this turns back to them again. I don’t think we played as smart as we needed to.”
Temple would get 9 of the their next 11 points from Rose to reestablish momentum.
The Green Wave of Tulane has now lost 18 consecutive games, last tasting victory on December 17 against Texas Southern. They were led by Samir Samic who scored 24 points and took down 11 rebounds. Caleb Daniels added 18 points. Blake Paul grabbed 10 boards and Jordan Cornish posted 10 assists.
Tulane had a 49 – 35 rebound advantage, 20 – 10 off the offensive glass.
The Owls improve to 21 – 8 bouncing back from the loss at Memphis. They hold on the fourth place in the American with an 11 – 6 record, which would get them a first round bye in the conference tournament. Dunphy has guided the Owls to 10-plus wins in 9 of his 13 seasons.
Next up is a trip to UConn before returning home to face UCF in the regular season finale, and the last home game for Dunphy. However, the focus is on Connecticut and finishing strong.
“It will be a challenge, but we’ll be fine if we go there and do what we’re supposed to do,” Rose said about playing the Huskies.
“Give everything we got, and play as hard as possible because we have to win every game to get to the tournament,” Alston, Jr. said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian