Enechionyia helps Owls snap two-game skid

In their first home game of the season, the Owls beat the University of Delaware 69-50 Sunday at the Liacouras Center.

As senior guard Quenton DeCosey celebrated a dunk late in the first half of Temple’s (2-3) 69-50 win against the University of Delaware Sunday at the Liacouras Center, sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia slowly limped up the floor on the other end.

While coming down with a rebound, Enechionyia collided with Delaware sophomore guard Chivarsky Corbett. Enechionyia headed to the locker room after the play.

He returned to the court three minutes later and after the halftime break, scored 11 points in the second half, totaling 16 in the game.

“I’m not sure if I landed on him or what happened, but I just came down and twisted it again,” said, Enechionyia, who injured the same ankle earlier this season. “It wasn’t too bad. I could still play. … I was worried because it was the same ankle, but I was able to get out there again and keep playing.”

The Blue Hens kept things close in the first half, leading 5-2 and 7-6 early in the game. After the Owls reclaimed the lead 9-7 on a 3-pointer from senior guard Josh Brown with 16:23 remaining, the Owls never trailed in the final 36 minutes.

Delaware’s sophomore guard Kory Holden was fouled on a made a layup and converted the free throw to tie the game at 23 with 5:25 left in the half.

The Owls responded with a 14-2 run to go into the half up 37-25.

A balanced attack aided Temple in the first half, as five different Owls scored five or more points. Senior forward Jaylen Bond and freshman guards Trey Lowe and Levan Shawn Alston, Jr. all tallied six points while Enechionyia and DeCosey both added five.

“As long as I’ve been coaching there’s been an emphasis on ball movement, but sometimes the defense doesn’t allow that to happen” coach Fran Dunphy said. “I do think we moved the ball … we could do a better job of it, but I think we’re doing it better than we did in years past.”

Following back-to-back losses to Butler University and the University of Utah in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament Nov. 20 and 22, respectively, the Owls had seven days to prepare for the Blue Hens.

Rebounding plagued the Owls in their first three losses this season, as they were outrebounded in all three contests by a combined 21 rebounds. In the victory Sunday, the Owls were outrebounded by Delaware 43-42. The Blue Hens had 16 offensive rebounds and 12 second chance points.

“We have to do a better job on the defensive glass, which we did not do again today,” Dunphy said. “So that’ll be another aspect of the game that we will work at in the coming week.”

After weathering an 8-2 run by Delaware to start the second half, the Owls held a comfortable lead for the remainder of the game, keeping at least a seven-point lead for the rest of the half.

Temple shot 37 percent in the second half, including 5-of-15 from three-point range. The Owls shot 40 percent in the game and made 9-of-29 three-point attempts.

“We shot too many [three-point shots],” Dunphy said. “We need to drive and kick it, move a bit more and get ourselves to the rim a little bit more and we need to get to the foul line more.”
Owen McCue can be reached at owen.mccue@temple.edu or on Twitter @Owen_McCue

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