PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/25/2020 – The University of Pennsylvania took an early lead as the Temple Owls had early game shooting woes, ahead from start to finish for a 66 – 59 victory in front of a crowd of 6,524 at the Palestra.
It was an impactful win for the Quakers who broke a three-game losing streak. AJ Brodeur led the way with 19 points and 14 rebounds for his 28th career double-double. He handed out a game-high 6 assists. Penn evened the city series record this season at 2 – 2. Getting a Big Five win was highly meaningful for the senior.
“I love this league,” said Brodeur. “There is such a special environment when the Palestra is packed, no matter who is playing on any particular night. It is such a lot of fun. Being a part of that these past four years has been special.”
“Before he got here we didn’t have a lot of success in the Big Five,” Penn Coach Steve Donahue said about Brodeur. “We’ve gone 8 – 8 and won a Big Five Championship. I wanted this game for this group to go five hundred. That hasn’t been done here in awhile here.”
Penn (8 – 7, 2 – 2) started out with a 14 – 0 lead. Temple missed its first 12 shots and did not score until the 10:27 mark of the half when Quinton Rose converted a layup.
“It’s frustrating, but that’s a part of the game and we have to figure it out,” said Rose.
In the initial twenty minutes the Quakers made 10 of 28 attempts while the Owls were good on 6 of 32 (18%). It is tough to win with those numbers.
It got better for the Cherry and White in the second half. Temple made a charge getting to within 6 with just a little more than 8 minutes to play. Penn survived the run and got the advantage back to 59 – 45 at the 1:54 mark.
“You’ve got to put the ball in the hole,” said Temple Coach Aaron McKie. “Early on even though we didn’t score the ball I thought our defense was pretty solid. We put too much pressure on our defense because of our offense. We have to be confident in taking the open shot.”
The Owls (10 – 9, 2 – 1) had one more run in them cutting the lead to 59 – 55 with 39 seconds left. The Quakers held on making 7 of their last 8 free throws.
Ryan Betley also posted a double-double for Penn scoring 11 points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. Jordan Dingle contributed 15 points and Devon Goodman had 12 points. Penn made 44.2% from the floor (23 of 52) and converted 7 of 20 from distance.
Rose was the Owls leading scorer with 21 points, but it took 25 shots for him to get there.
Jake Forrester had 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Nate Pierre-Louis stole the ball 4 times.
Prior to the game former Penn and Temple Coach Fran Dunphy was honored. It was an emotional moment for all in attendance, and especially for Donahue and McKie who served as an assistant to Dunphy.
Temple still has a chance to win a share of the Big Five title. The Owls meet the Villanova Wildcats at home on February 16th. If Villanova wins, they take the title outright. Should Temple win, they share the crown.
Written By: Glenn Papazian