Late jumper hands Owls second straight loss

Poor free throw shooting hurts Owls in 70-67 loss to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Thursday at the Mullins Center.

Freshman guard Quinton Rose gave University of Massachusetts Amherst freshman guard DeJon Jarreau a lot of space as he held the ball beyond the 3-point arc with just less than 40 seconds left in Thursday’s game. It was as if Rose was challenging Jarreau to take a jump shot instead of driving to the paint.

Jarreau stepped up and splashed a 3-pointer to give the Minutemen a one-point lead with 34 seconds remaining. It was a lead they would not relinquish.

A missed 3-pointer by redshirt-senior guard and forward Daniel Dingle and a breakaway layup by Jarreau sealed the deal as the Owls dropped their first road game of the season 70-67 to Massachusetts.

The game included 17 lead changes, 11 of which happened in the second half. Temple took a 34-33 lead into halftime after an outlet pass from sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr. set up a dunk by Rose with one second left. The Owls’ 22-13 lead with seven minutes, 57 seconds left in the first half was the largest of the game for either team.

In the second half, Temple scored the first two baskets to make the score 38-33. The five-point lead proved the be the biggest point differential of a back-and-forth second half. The Owls led with 50 seconds left when freshman guard Alani Moore’s jump shot made the score 67-65 just before Jarreau’s decisive three.

Junior forward Obi Enechionyia led the way for the Owls with 26 points, tying a career high. He was the only Owl to score in double figures. Sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui led Temple with eight rebounds, but the Owls were out rebounded by the Minutemen 43-34. On opening night against La Salle, they out rebounded the Explorers by 12.

The Minutemen pride themselves on their ability to win the turnover battle. They forced 45 turnovers in their first two games and scored 40 points off opponents’ mistakes. However, Temple remained disciplined in the scrappy game, only committing 11 turnovers to Massachusetts’ 18.

The Owls only shot 38.2 percent of their shots from the field and struggled to consistently knock down free throws. After going 26-for-40 in the first two games, Temple showed few signs of improvement. The Owls missed their first four attempts and finished the night 7-of-16 from the line.

The last time the two teams played was in 2013 when Massachusetts beat Temple in Atlantic-10 conference quarterfinals. Temple still leads the overall series between the former conference rivals 44-23. The Owls return home Sunday for a nonconference matchup against Manhattan College against 2 p.m.

Graham Foley can be reached at or on Twitter @graham_foley3.

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