PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/23/2019 – The Temple Owls dropped a game at Tulsa earlier this month which cast some doubt on their tournament future. This game took on added importance for the Owls, who responded with a 84 – 73 win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Liacouras Center. Shizz Alston, Jr. led the Cherry and White with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.
“This was a big win, now we want to keep it going,” Temple guard Quinton Rose said.
The Owls took an early lead and held it despite numerous Golden Hurricane charges. The lead for Temple was 60 – 55 when forward Justin Hamilton scored at the 9:42 mark, two of his 10 points. It ignited a 18 – 6 Temple run that turned the outcome in the home team’s direction. Instrumental in that run was guard Quinton Rose who scored 8 points in that span highlighted by a cut to the basket that resulted in a dunk. Alston, Jr. had the assist.
“No question about it,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy that the run was the deciding factor. “We made timely shots. That was the key for us getting good separation late.”
“Once we got on a run, we had to step on their throat,” Alston, Jr. said. “We kept letting them back in. We had to step on them when our shots began to fall.”
Rose contributed 23 points for the Cherry and White and was a perfect 7 for 7 from the charity stripe.
Tulsa plays a tough defense that is hard to attack. The Owls were not successful at Tulsa in a 76 – 58 loss. Temple was more successful in this game shooting 50.8% (31 of 61), and made 10 of 28 from beyond the arc (35.7%). The Cherry and posted 53 second half points.
“That was the first time we saw it out there,” Alston, Jr. said about the Tulsa defense. “It was good to get a sneak peek at it.”
“Rose and Shizz are as good as there are in the country in the country,” said Tulsa Coach Frank Haith.
Guard Nate Pierre-Louis scored in double figures for the Owls with 13 points.
Curran Scott and Martins Igbanu were the leading scorers for Tulsa with each scoring 15 points. Sterling Taplin added 11 points. The Golden Hurricane played without leading scorer DaQuan Jeffries due to illness.
Tulsa drops to 16 – 12 for the season and is 6 – 9 in conference play.
Temple gets their 20th win of the season and is 10 – 4 in the American retaining one of the top four spots in the AAC. The Cherry and White travel to Memphis for a Tuesday game. Another important game, but now they are all important.
“That will be an opportunity for us and help us get off the bubble for the NCAA Tournament,” said Alston, Jr. “We will have our work cut out for us. It will be a good one.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian