Damian Dunn and Jake Forrester Set Career-High in Points Scored
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/4/221 –
The Temple Owls found out that they would be without leading scorer Khalif Battle for the rest of the year. He injured his foot in Wednesday night’s win over La Salle. The team mantra is ‘next man up’ and the Owls got career-scoring performances from guard Damian Dunn and forward Jake Forrester in a 81 – 72 win over the University of Pennsylvania at the Liacouras Center. It was the fourth straight win of the season for the Owls.
Eight of the nine players who saw the floor scored for Temple, and the 81 point scored represents the highest offensive output of the season. The Owls led from start to finish.
“I said in the beginning, our strength is in our numbers and we got to do it by committee, and it’s going to be like that throughout the year,” said Coach Aaron McKie. “It could be Jake one day, Damian one day, it could be somebody else.”
The two players that helped to make up for the offensive loss of Battle were Dunn and Forrester.
Dunn scored a career-high 27 points in the game. He made 9 of 15 from the floor which is a season-best in made field goals. The red-shirt freshman guard also set a season-best in made free throws as he sank 8 of 10 from the line. It was a time that Dunn had to be ready to step in. Next man up.
“He (Coach McKie) talks about, he preaches to us about, and that’s been our staple. You have to be ready and locked in because you never know,” said Dunn. “I think there is going to be an identity with guys being ready. No matter what happens, if we’re down, if we’re winning if we lose a guy, I think that will get us far.”
Forrester also added pages to his record book by scoring a career-best 21 points converting 7 of 11 from the floor. the junior forward also set a season-mark in made free throws converting 7 of 8. Forrester pulled down a game-high 9 rebounds which is the most caroms he collected this season. He, too, needed to be ready to go in Battle’s absence.
“That was a huge loss for us coming in,” Forrester said. “That was a big emphasis for every single person in the locker room. Coach said it’s another persons time to shine, so we had to pick it up where he (Battle) left off.”
Freshman guard Jeremiah Williams scored 12 points and handed out 5 assists.
The team moved the ball, made crispy passes, played team ball, and made shots, 29 pf 64 for 45.3%.
“You always look good when you make shots,” McKie said. “We’re making steps and sharing it and moving it and playing as a more cohesive group on the offensive side.”
Penn lost its fourth consecutive game this season. The Quakers were led by Jordan Dingle who scored a team-best 22 points. The Red and Blue got output from Michael Wang and Max Martz. Wong wet season-high’s in points scored with 21 and rebounds grabbing 8 boards. Martz set a season-tops in scoring getting 14 points. He also took down 8 rebounds. The team is not playing confident basketball right now according to Coach Steve Donahue. But better play as shown by Martz and Wang could set things in the right direction.
“Michael Wang has been so hurt throughout his career,” said Donahue. “He’s had his ups and downs already in this short period. But he is someone that we can throw the ball to down low because we hadn’t had that presence very often. He is a talented kid and I thought he competed at a high level in the second half.”
Wang scored 17 of his 21 points in the latter twenty minutes.
“Max is someone who has been pretty consistent throughout his career,” Donahue said about Martz “In the league I think he is one of the better players in his position and someone that we’re going to count on.”
In the Big Five Penn falls to 0 – 2 and is 3 – 8 overall. The Quakers continue their string of city series games next week against Sint Joseph’s and La Salle
Temple improves to 5 – 3. They play at Vanderbilt before taking the trip to Hawk Hill to meet Saint Joseph’s. Should the Owls win that game, they will be 3 – 0 in the Big Five, and will play at Villanova for the city title on December 29.
Written By: Glenn Papazian