The Temple Owls put away the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds on Friday night at the Liacouras Center, 81-67. Quinton Rose and Shizz Alston, Jr. led the way on the offensive side and never once let the Greyhounds have the lead.
Temple hosted Loyola Maryland for their final home game of the homestand, before traveling to Brooklyn for two games. The Owls got off to a hot start, as they opened up the game with a 16-0 run. However, Loyola crept back into the picture as they caught up quickly and were within single digits with a few minutes to play in the first half. The Greyhounds got a lot of help from Brent Holcombe who ended the contest with 17. The teams went into the half with a score of 45-33.
The Greyhounds kept their foot on the pedal in the second half, getting more help from Holcombe. Fortunately for Temple, Quinton Rose, Shizz Alston, and Nate Pierre-Louis came up huge for them, and sealed their victory, despite it getting very tight as the game was nearing its end. Alston ended with 18 points, while Rose and Pierre-Louis ended with 16 each. They won 81-67, however, the Owls allowed the Greyhounds to get very close at the end.
Despite the win, Shizz Alston, Jr. felt that his team needed to work on a few things before their road trip.
“We got a little stagnant as they kind of slowed the game down a little bit when they went zone, that is something we need to work on,” said Alston, “We didn’t make that many threes, we were 6-22, so that is something that we got to work on.”
The Owls are on a great opening run that puts them on top of the AAC standings. Division games have not yet started, but the Owls look like they have the early keys to a successful season, and one that they hope can have them playing deep into March.
Rose spoke about the opportunity to make a run for the NCAA March Madness Tournament.
“I definitely feel good about our chances to be in the tournament,” said Rose, “We just got to keep getting better, keep building on what we already have done.”
Head Coach Fran Dunphy knows what this team needs to do in order to continue their winning ways.
“We have to play terrific defense, and can’t give up any easy baskets,” said Dunphy, “We have to move the basketball…We have to make shots, we have to be more efficient on the offensive end.”
The Owls now move to 4-0, and they remain unbeaten at home. They will be playing in the 2018 Legends Classic in Brooklyn, NY. They have the opening round against VCU and will either play St. John’s or California in either the consolation game or the championship round. All games in that tournament will be played in the Barclays Center on November 19 and 20.