Sports

Owls overcome slow start, dispatch Towson

Four Temple starters reached double-digit point totals in a 76-67 win.

It took Temple 6 minutes, 19 seconds to record its first field goal, but the Owls poured in 51 second-half points to beat visiting Towson, 76-64, Wednesday night at the Liacouras Center.

Temple (6-3) was led by a game-high 22 points from senior guard Will Cummings, as the team recovered from a first half in which it shot 29.6 percent to hand the Tigers (7-3) their second-straight loss.

The game was the first all season in which coach Fran Dunphy has deployed a different starting lineup. Junior forward Jaylen Bond received his first start as an Owl and responded with 10 points and nine rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end. Sophomore forward Mark Williams came off the bench for the first time this season and did not score.

“In my mind we have eight starters,” Dunphy said. “Who plays well and who finishes the game is really the critical piece to this.”

Dunphy said the decision to sit Williams in favor of Bond was made before the game and will be treated as a game-to-game decision.

“It gives you comfort as a guard,” Cummings said of Bond’s presence on the floor. “Knowing that if you miss something, [Bond] will be right there.”

Four McGlynn led Towson with 20 points as John Davis collected a game-high 14 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive end of the floor. As Towson outrebounded Temple, 50-38.

“The disappointing thing tonight was the offensive rebounds they got,” Dunphy said. “We got our share but they killed it on the glass.”

Freshman forward Obi Enechionyia played a career-high 23 minutes and collected four blocks in addition to seven points and five rebounds. The four blocks were the most by any Temple player this year, as Temple outscored Towson 32-16 in the paint despite having a minus-12 rebounding margin.

“[Enechionyia] is doing some things that we need him to do and that’s what we expect him to do.” Cummings said. “He just needs to keep doing that and improving every game.”

“Today I did a good job of blocking shots,” Enechionyia said. “I haven’t been doing that well in the past, but I’m going to try to stick to that in the future.”

Despite a first half in which the team scored 13 points through the first 16 minutes of the game, Temple shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half, including a 3-of-7 clip from 3-point range. Temple pushed its largest lead to 53-37 midway through the second half and never trailed after the intermission.

“That’s something we have to do every game … not get down when we start missing shots,” Cummings said.

Aside from Cummings and Bond, junior guard Quenton DeCosey and redshirt-sophomore forward Daniel Dingle scored 16 and 11 points, respectively. DeCosey also added two assists and did not have a turnover.

The majority of the points Cummings scored came from the charity stripe, shooting 15 of 17 from the line. However, he finished 3 of 13 from the floor after entering the game shooting 32.7 percent from the floor. He is now shooting 31.6 percent from the field this year, including 20 percent from 3-point range.

Temple will take on Villanova in a Big 5 matchup Sunday, a contest that will mark the last game before transfer players Devin Coleman and Jesse Morgan are eligible to return to play.

Ibrahim Jacobs can be reached at ibrahim.jacobs@temple.edu or on Twitter @ibrahimjacobs.

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