After their schedule was postponed on Dec. 31 due to a positive COVID-19 test within the program, Temple University men’s basketball returned to the floor Monday afternoon hoping to begin an uninterrupted stretch of play with a win.
In their first game since the postponement, the Owls (1-3, 0-3 The American Athletic Conference) fell to the Southern Methodist University Mustangs (7-2, 3-2, The American) by a score of 79-68.
SMU entered with an advantage over the Owls thanks to their balanced offense. While much of the Owls’ scoring came from just a few players, four Mustangs scored more than 10 points and three scored more than 15. The Owls only had two players finish in double figures.
SMU junior guard Kendric Davis scored 22 points, dished out seven assists and came up with two steals. Davis led the Mustangs in field goals made, field goals attempted, points and assists.
Mustangs junior guard Emmanuel Bandoumel chipped in 16 points, making six of his 11 field goal attempts and four of his six attempts from beyond the arc.
The biggest weakness for the Owls was their rebounding. They pulled down only 31 rebounds, compared to 43 for SMU.
Leading the Mustangs’ rebounding was junior forward Feron Hunt, who grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his 16 points.
Temple men’s basketball head coach Aaron McKie has at least one reason for optimism: graduate student guard Brendan Barry, who scored 17 points, displayed the excellent shooting ability that McKie cited after Barry’s transfer became official. Barry made every single one of the five 3-pointers he attempted in the first half.
The Owls also received contributions from redshirt-freshman guard Damian Dunn, who shot an impressive 9-11 from the free throw line, continuing to flash his ability to frequently draw fouls.
Temple men’s basketball will be in action next Thursday, facing Central Florida (3-3, 1-2 The American) at the Liacouras Center at noon.