Sophomore guard Aaron Brown sets career high in win.
In the Owls’ home opener, an 86-74 win against Central Michigan last Saturday, sophomore guard Aaron Brown helped the men’s basketball team accomplish something it hadn’t done since its first game of the season.
Brown’s career-high 21 points allowed Temple to outscore its opponent’s bench for the first time since playing Penn at the Palestra on Nov. 14. The Owls’ win also set a new Liacouras Center record for consecutive wins (23).
“Aaron Brown really made the most of [the opportunity],” Dunphy said. “He is arguably our hardest working player.”
Temple (4-2) shot 67.9 percent from the field in the first half and jumped out to a double-digit lead against Central Michigan (4-3) five minutes into the game. With about three minutes remaining in the first half the Owls extended its lead to 24, which was their largest lead of the game.
Four of the Owls’ starters scored in double figures, including a game-high 23 points by junior guard Khalif Wyatt. Senior guard Juan Fernandez and redshirt-senior Ramone Moore each finished with 10 and 17 points, respectively, while junior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson added 13 points and tied a career high with three blocks.
“I think for the most part we did what we wanted to do,” coach Fran Dunphy said.
“We got five guards who can really shoot the ball,” Brown added. “So on different days, different people are going to have good nights.”
The Owls’ will need to find its new identity on the court with redshirt-senior center Micheal Eric out at least six weeks due to reinjuring his right patella.
“Since we lost [Eric], [Dunphy] has been emphasizing that we have to play faster now,” Wyatt said.
Redshirt-freshman forward Anthony Lee made his second-career start in Eric’s absence and tied his career high in rebounds (nine) and set a new career high in blocks (three), while adding two points.
“We’re going to need everyone,” Dunphy said. “If we’re going to be a good basketball team, we need to take advantage of every opportunity.”
The Owls held onto their lead in the second half by limiting the Chippewas’ to one three pointer and to a lower field goal percentage than they recorded in the first half.
The Owls will travel to Ohio to play Toledo at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Connor Showalter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.