#1 SMU 69 #4 Temple 56 – The Owls saw this movie before. Temple, again, took a lead against SMU but could not sustain it. And like the January night on North Broad Street Markus Kennedy came off the bench to lead the Mustangs. In this game Kennedy came into the game to score 17 points and pull down 9 rebounds for SMU.
In this contest, like the others, Temple had a lead. The Owls took a 28 – 26 advantage into the locker room. The lead stretched to 4 in the second half. The Mustangs took control with a 9 – 0 run to pull in front by a 49 – 38 score with just under 12 minutes to play.
Rebounding was a big plus for SMU as they had a 45 – 32 edge off the glass. Temple leading rebounder Jaylen Bond pulled down just 5 boards as he was in foul trouble for most of the game.
“It really hurt us when he picked up his fourth foul,” said Quenton DeCosey. “We knew we would have to go small so they hurt us a little bit on the inside getting rebounds, second chances, so that really hurt us when he went out.”
Also hurting the Owls cause was an injury to point guard Will Cummings that forced him to miss the last five minutes of the game. Cummings scored 9 points and had 3 assists. Quenton DeCosey led Temple in scoring with 14 points and Jesse Morgan added 10. As a team the Cherry and White shot 17 for 58 (29.3%) and made just 4 of 24 from beyond the arc.
Temple stands with a 23 – 10 record. Their NCAA Tournament fate is in the hands of the Selection Committee.
“I think we’ve done a really good job this year,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy. “The hope is that we’ve done enough and that will be in someone else’s hands other than me.”
The Owls will find out soon enough.