In the early stages of the second half, Tulane graduate student forward K.J. Lawson and redshirt-sophomore guard Jordan Walker made back-to-back three-point shots within a 26-second span.
The threes from Lawson and Walker put Tulane (10-6, 2-2 The American Athletic Conference) up by 13 and both came following Temple (9-6, 1-3 The AAC) turnovers as the Green Wave beat the Owls 65-51 Saturday afternoon at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls have lost three consecutive conference matches after starting conference play with a win against Central Florida on Dec. 31.
The Green Wave had 11 steals to the Owls’ four and scored 21 points off the Owls’ 18 turnovers. The Owls only scored nine points off 15 turnovers from Tulane.
“We should be attacking the paint,” coach Aaron McKie said. “We should be getting to the free-throw line. When we get there, we gotta be able to convert. When we get out in transition, we gotta be able to convert. We’re not great at any of those things right now.”
The Owls pulled within seven to start the second half after back-to-back layups from senior guard Quinton Rose and redshirt-freshman forward Arashma Parks. After that, the Green Wave went on a 14-2 run starting with the threes from Lawson and Walker.
The Green Wave also dominated shooting the ball, making 44.4 percent of its shots from the field while the Owls only made 31.5 percent of their shots. The Green Wave made 36 percent of its shots from behind the arc while the Owls only made 20.8 percent of their threes.
“Shots just haven’t been falling,” Rose said. “Guys have been struggling so we just gotta get back in the gym and focus on the shots we get in the game. We’ll be fine.”
Walker and junior guard Teshaun Hightower scored 17 points each to lead the Green Wave. Walker shot 5-of-12 from the field and made three shots on seven attempts from behind the arc in 33 minutes of play. Hightower made 6-of-8 shots from the field in 38 minutes of action. Hightower also recorded five rebounds and six assists.
Lawson added 16 points and 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Lawson shot 7-of-15 from the field in 39 minutes. Walker, Hightower and Lawson combined for 50 of the Green Wave’s 65 points.
“They’re ballers,” McKie said. “They might run like two plays, but they get the ball to their scorers. They let them dance and they’re very effective at doing it. They don’t look to throw the ball inside and they wanna just try to out-gun you. They came in. They made some shots early. We slowed them a little bit, but we dug such a hole for ourselves we just weren’t able to sustain it and get all the way back into the game.”
Rose was the only Temple player to score in double digits, finishing with 12 points. Rose shot 4-of-12 from the field. Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis and junior forward Justyn Hamilton each added eight points. Pierre-Louis recorded 11 rebounds while shooting 3-of-10 from the field.
Next, the Owls will host Wichita State (15-1, 2-0 The AAC) on Wednesday at 9 p.m. The Shockers are ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
The Owls have to fix their own mistakes if they want to break their three-game losing streak, Pierre-Louis said.
“It’s all on us,” Pierre-Louis said. “We gotta figure out what we gotta do. It’s not them.”