Owls falter in A-10 opener

The men’s basketball team has seen this before. The recipe for the Owls’ latest contest with No. 20 George Washington was similar to that of last season.

A tightly contested first half, followed by a second-half GW run, punctuated both games. The Colonials played their pressure defense once more, and a Temple player was suffering from the flu, just like last year.

The outcome was also the same, as the Colonials downed the Owls, 72-60, Wednesday, Jan. 4, at the Liacouras Center in the Owls’ Atlantic Ten Conference opener.

The loss was the Owls’ second straight to a ranked opponent. No. 3 Villanova knocked off the Owls, 75-53, last Saturday at the Palestra.

The Colonials have had the Owls’ number the past three seasons, as Temple has lost four straight to GW. It is the longest such streak in the 90-year series between the schools.

“The trend is that we don’t have a good team,” coach John Chaney said. “Give them credit. They have a better team than us.”

The Colonials waited until midway through the first half to employ the same pressure defense that baffled the Owls (6-5, 0-1 A-10) last season. Colonials coach Karl Hobbs said he wanted push the tempo against the Owls’ slow-paced offense.

“I thought we had to create pace,” Hobbs said. “We had it going pretty early, but Temple started the game at their tempo. I thought we had to speed up the pace a bit.”

Chaney said the Owls handled the pressure defense well, but placed some blame on poor shooting by the Owls.

Senior forward Antywane Robinson and junior guard Dustin Salisbery each shot just 5 for 14 while sophomore guard Mark Tyndale put in a 1 for 7 performance. Robinson, who had battled the flu for two weeks, said after the game that he felt 100 percent.

The Owls jumped to a 21-15 lead, riding senior point guard Mardy Collins, who scored 10 of his team-high 19 points during the run. But the Colonials battled back to take a 34-30 lead into halftime.

The Colonials quickly put the Owls in a huge hole to start the second half. They went on a 15-4 run en route to a 49-34 lead.

The Owls immediately responded with a 10-0 run to pull within five with the score 49-44, fueled by Robinson’s eight points. But the Owls would not pull any closer, as their shooting went cold. The Owls went the next five minutes without hitting a field goal. The Colonials took a 60-46 lead, putting the game out of reach.

NOTES

Wayne Marshall played just 14 minutes in the Owls’ loss to the Colonials, but his line is worth mentioning. The junior forward tallied four rebounds, three blocks and one steal, all while battling to return to playing shape after an eight-month layoff from basketball. … The Owls have given up 70 or more points in three of their past four games.

UP NEXT

The Owls move from one conference nemesis to another, when they take on city-rival Saint Joseph’s Sunday at the Palestra. Tip-off is set for noon.

The Hawks (5-5 overall, 0-1 A-10) have won the last six contests between the schools dating back to the 2001-02 season. It is the Owls’ longest losing streak against the Hawks since suffering 11 consecutive defeats between the 1958-59 and 1965-66 seasons. No player on the Owls’ roster has ever beaten the Hawks.

The teams meet for the first time since last February’s infamous game in which a hard Nehemiah Ingram foul left former Hawks forward John Bryant with a broken arm and landed Chaney a five-game suspension.

Abdulai Jalloh and Chet Stachitas lead the Hawks’ attack. They entered Wednesday night’s game against Xavier netting 16.8 and 16.4 points per game, respectively.

PHOTOS

For more photos from the game against No. 20 George Washington, please visit Temple News staff photographer Steve Gengler’s Web site at www.stephengengler.com/gw.html

John Kopp can be reached at jpk85@juno.com.

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