The Owls Lose 86 – 78 to UMES, Now Need to be Ready for American Games
December 20, 2022 –
In the last game before league games begin, Temple is not entering into a stretch of games in a way they want. Temple is on a three-game losing streak and fell at the Liacouras Center 86 – 78 to Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks. The team is not playing well enough on the defensive end of the floor, and that has Coach Aaron McKie concerned.
“We gave them eighty-six points,” said McKie. “I’ve been talking about defense all year. I’m a believer that the best defensive teams are the ones who have a say come March. We’re nowhere near that. Nowhere near being connected as we need to be as a team. We have a lot to work on.”
A Game of Runs
Temple started out well getting an early nine-point lead. UMES answered and got ahead by the same number of points. The Owls came back and lead the Hawks 45 – 43 at halftime.
With just over 12 minutes to play and leading 65 – 58, the UMES went on the decisive 12 – 4 run over the next five and a half minutes for a 77 – 62 lead. The Hawks made bank-shot three-pointers during that stretch.
Would the Owls have a run in them to steal the win? Well, yes and no. They did have a flurry, but it was not fast enough, and did not take advantage of opportunities that presented themselves. Over the last five minutes UMES turned the ball over five times. The Hawks scored two baskets, one on a goal tend, before closing out the game going 4 for 4 at the foul line.
Meanwhile the Owls tried to claw back into the game, but would get no closer than 80 – 77. From there Temple gave up the goal tend, and missed three shots, one off an offensive rebound, and missed twice on a three-shot foul call. The chances were there.
“It’s about sustaining the effort, that’s focus,” McKie said. “Sustaining the effort you need to have for forty minutes. We got off to a good start offensively and defensively. There was a lid on the basket for those guys. Then all of a sudden they made one shot then they couldn’t miss. It’s basketball.”
It did not help the Owls cause losing guard Damian Dunn with a head injury in the first half.
What the Numbers Say
The stats were close. Temple out shot Maryland Eastern Shore 48.2% to 47.5%. But the Hawks made 11 of 24 from three-point range while the Owls went 8 of 27. Those bank shots by UMES made a difference. Each team had 16 turnovers. Maryland Eastern Shore had 10 steals while Temple swiped the ball 8 times.
UMES guard Da’Shawn Phillips scored a game-high 18 points and forward Nathaniel Pollard, Jr. grabbed 10 boards.
Khalif Battle and Zach Hicks each had 15 points for Temple. Battle added a team-best 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Temple travels to ECU for the American opener, then hosts Cincinnati on New Year’s Day. It is a time of adversity that the Owls are experiencing, something they must confront together to right the ship.
“When we get back from break, just come together as a team,” said forward Zach Hicks. “When adversity hits the top teams, the ones we want to compete with, they come together as a team and we’re struggling to do that right now.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian