The Temple Owls fell to No.19 Wichita State Shockers 93-86 in a thrilling game.
The entire game was filled with excellent shooting and great plays on defense that created the best performance by the Owls all season. Unfortunately, this game was being played in Charles Koch Arena, where the Wichita Shockers have been dominant over the years. This game drops Temple to 15-11 and an NCAA Tournament bid is almost out of reach.
The game started out very fast pace. Fran Dunphy has preached that Temples previous five game winning streak was due to the fact they upped their tempo in practice. This had resurrected Shizz Alston Jr. back from the dead as he has been shooting well over 50 percent in this win streak.
A player who started off hot that I do not think anyone saw coming was Obi Enechionyia, who halfway through the first half was shooting 4-for-4 and 3-for-3 from three point range. This contribution ignited Temple to a 27-12 lead around halfway point in the first half. Temple could not miss a three that even freshman DeVondre Perry made four threes in the game. He had made 8 threes all season coming into the game and shooting 24% from deep.
The Shockers had enough and they went on their own 11-0 run to cut the deficit to 27-23 Owls. Temple clearly had zero chance of getting offensive rebound and could not box out Shaq Morris of Wichita State at all, and I mean at all.
Luckily, Temple hit eleven three pointers, which is a season high, going into half to extend their lead to 56-42.
Temple looked lost starting the second half as the Shockers went on another 11-0 run to cut the lead to only three for the Owls. Again, the Owls had an answer with the three ball as DeVondre Perry hit another to shut up the crows, who by this time, were circling the Owls.
Now, we started running into some issues. In this league, yes hitting threes are very important, but at the end of the day you have to have big men who can finish at the rim and make key blocks as well. The Shockers have that in Shaq Morris but the Owls were silent in the post. Wichita out rebounded, hit more free throws, got more offensive rebound, blocks, and steals than the Owls. It shows you have weak this Temple team is and that yes, Temple can shoot the lights out but when its the last five minutes of the game we can not stop anyone driving into the paint. Its flat out embarrassing and next year we have to recruit shot blockers.
Quinton Rose was like Kobe Bryant out there as he kept the Owls in the game with three straight mid range jumpers and the last, to put Temple up 78-76 with six minutes left. This was followed by Alston Jr. making a clutch three to put the Owls back up 81-78 after the Shockers made a wide open lay up.
The next three points were from the wanna be diesel in Shaq Morris, but once again Quinton Rose had an answer with a jumper to cut the Shocker lead to 84-83. Shaq Morris is depicted below.
DeVondre Perry made an awful foul that led to two free throw points for the Shockers and that was really the game. Temple made a couple free throws to stay in it but once the score was 88-84 with a couple seconds left, Temple was without any timeouts. Fran Dunpy decided to use them all when they needed them to stop the clock from moving. Some poor clock management on his part, was like an Andy Reid move when he coached for the Eagles.
That was the game, as the Shockers came back with tough offensive presence inside that out worked the Temple bigs. It was awesome to see Temple compete on the road and shoot 55 percent from deep, but they have to improve in the interior. They will not be a factor if they even make the tournament if they can not box out. All in all, fantastic game and looking forward to their showdown against Houston.