PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3/1/2020 – The Temple Owls lost their third straight game, and in heartbreaking fashion 64 – 58 to the University of South Florida Bulls at the Liacouras Center. The Owls had chances to win it, but were off the mark on their last seven shots. The Bulls closed out the game making nine of ten from the free throw line. The loss was similar to those against ECU and Wichita State, late game doughts.
“The name of the game is putting the ball in the basket,” said Temple Coach Aaron McKie. “You have to find ways to be able to do that. We just haven’t been able to do that over these stretch of games that we lost.”
It was a game of momentum swings. South Florida got out to an early lead and held it for a 33 – 25 lead at halftime. Temple got the lead for the first time with a 16 – 6 run. A three-pointer by Monty Scott gave the Cherry and White their first lead at 41 – 39 with just under 12 minutes to play. Temple would extend that lead to 52 – 47 at the 6:25 mark.
“We did a good job of climbing back, but haven’t been able to finish the game,” said Owls guard Nate Pierre-Louis.
Then momentum would change sides again. South Florida would hit three-pointers from Laquincy Rideau and Justin Brown, then a traditional three-point play by Michael Durr got them to within a single point at the 3:42 mark. Durr would pull down an offensive rebound and his follow up gave his team a 58 – 57 lead with 2:36 showing on the scoreboard. Scott would tie the game with a free throw at 2:13, but it would be the last point Temple would score. The Bulls closed the game at the foul line as the Owls were trying to set up Scott, but the shots did not fall.
“Monty got a couple of good looks, but they didn’t go down,” said Temple leading scorer Quinton Rose.
“I thought we did a good job of fighting and getting back into the game,” said McKie. “They had a critical ‘and one’ and late game offensive rebounds that were just a killer for us. We’re the type of team that can’t recover from those. We almost have to play a perfect game in order to be successful, and we just didn’t do that today.”
Brown led USF (13 – 16, 6 – 10) with a team-high 13 points and 9 rebounds. Durr contributed 12 points.
Pierre-Louis recorded a double-double getting 12 points and rebounds. He also set a career-mark handing out 7 assists. Rose led all Owls scorers with 13 points.
Temple (14 – 15, 6 – 10) returns to the court on Wednesday against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane who are at the top of the American standings. It will be Senior Night, an emotional night, for the Owls who are aiming to reverse the trend.
Written By: Glenn Papazian