A month and a half since coming to the United States, it looks like freshman guard Juan Fernandez has finally arrived.
In the men’s basketball team’s 78-73 victory over Duquesne Sunday afternoon at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., the Argentina native notched a career-high 19 points in 31 minutes of action to lead the Owls to a key road win.
Temple (15-9 overall, 7-3 Atlantic Ten Conference) also moved into a tie for third place in the A-10 with Saint Joseph’s, who lost to La Salle Saturday at the Palestra.
In the game, the Owls fell behind early in the first half, but slowly chipped away, cutting the deficit to one at halftime. The second half was a tense, back-and-forth battle until the Owls went on a 12-3 run to extend a one point deficit to an eight point lead.
That run was aided by five points from sophomore forward Lavoy Allen, who wasn’t much of a factor up until that run, picking up three personal fouls in the first half and sitting for a good portion of the second half. Allen finished with nine points and four rebounds.
Senior guard Dionte Christmas also struggled, shooting just 4-15 from the field and 2-11 from beyond the 3-point line, though he finished with 15 points. Senior guard Semaj Inge and junior guard Ryan Brooks each pitched in with 11 points.
The Owls turned the ball over nine times in the first half, though just three in the second half, as they had difficulty adjusting to the press of Duquesne (15-9, 6-5) at the beginning of the game.
Despite those struggles, the Owls only trailed by one at halftime, as they chipped away after trailing by as many as nine.
Temple now gets set for a three-game homestand, with Fordham first up Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Todd Orodenker can be reached at email@example.com.