PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/28/2017 – The Temple Owls opened conference play against a Tulane Green Wave team they defeated six times in succession. It will not be seven straight as the Owls fall 85- 75 to the Green Wave at the Liacouras Center.
Temple got off to a sluggish start. Tulane scored nine in a row to take a lead they would never relinquish. The Owls would come back, but could never overtake.
“We didn’t come out in the game with strong enough energy,” said Temple guard Shizz Alston, Jr. “We have to fix that.”
The game fell into a pattern where Tulane would lead, Temple would make a charge, but it would be answered. After the Green Wave stretched a four point lead to eleven, 73 – 62 with 3:51 to play, the Cherry and white mounted another surge to get to within 77 – 73 on a Quinton Rose three-point play at the 1:11 mark. It looked like the Owls would half that lead, but Alani Moore’s layup was blocked by Caleb Daniels. Temple would get no closer.
“In the first half they had 15 – 4 points off turnovers,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy. “That really hurt us. We turned it too many times. We had some decent looks down four. They had a great block by Daniels. We had a chance to get a loose ball after the block, but we did not come up with that.”
Turnovers and points off turnovers became an issue that the Owls could not overcome. The Cherry and White turned the ball over 12 times leading to 21 Green Wave points. Temple could only muster 12 points off 10 Tulane miscues.
Melvin Frazier and Cameron Reynolds have been a dynamic scoring duo for the Green Wave. They put up numbers again with Frazier scoring 25 points and Reynolds netting 17. Frazier added a game-high 7 assists. Reynolds took down a game-best 10 rebounds as he posted his 7th career double-double.
“We’ve got to get back to playing Temple basketball and picking up the defense,” said Alston, Jr. “We’ve been letting teams get up 10 points and we’re trying to fight back.”
Four Owls scored in double-figures as Quinton Rose and Alston had 17 points each. Rose dished out 4 assists. Josh Brown contributed 14 points and guard Nate Pierre-Louis set career-marks in scoring with 11 and rebounds grabbing 5 boards.
The Owls hoped to bounce back after a tough loss at Georgia, but did not. Temple (7 – 5, 0 – 1) has lost 3 of their last 4 games. The road does not get easier for the Owls has they go to Houston on Saturday, then return home for a 9 PM game against nationally-ranked Cincinnati on January 4.
Written By: Glenn Papazian