If the men’s basketball team’s loss to Providence Thursday was a bad dream, its defeat to Charleston Friday was nothing short of a nightmare.
Temple blew a 25-point halftime lead, allowing the Cougers to shoot 68 percent in the second half to win the game, 79-76, at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic. This came one day after Providence overcame an 11-point deficit to top the Owls (0-3). Junior guard Dionte Christmas fueled the Owls early, scoring 21 of his game-high 32 points in the first half.
The Owls jumped to a 12-2 lead in the game’s first 4 ½ minutes and never trailed until Tony White Jr. hit a three-pointer with 4:13 remaining, giving the Cougers (1-2) a 70-68 lead. From there, the game featured three ties and four lead changes. Dustin Scott ultimately handed the Cougers the victory, hitting a three-pointer with two seconds remaining.
The Owls shot higher than 50 percent for the second consecutive game, but couldn’t seal the deal. Senior guard Mark Tyndale finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Ryan Brooks added 12 points. Christmas, Tyndale and Brooks combined for all but 12 of the Owls’ points. Freshman Lavoy Allen battled foul trouble again, fouling out with 4:32 remaining. Four of the forward’s fouls came in the second half. Allen was one of three Owls to foul out, joining Sergio Olmos and Semaj Inge.
Though the Owls shot 51 percent, they allowed Charleston to shoot 56 percent. Antwaine Wiggins led the Cougers with 17 points. White had 15 points, Jermaine Johnson notched 13 and Donovan Monroe finished with 11.
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.