In its final non-conference tune-up last season, Temple knocked down 16 of 27 3-point attempts in a 36-point drubbing of Long Island University-Brooklyn.
On Sunday, the Owls’ contest with the Blackbirds took on a different form in the first half, as Temple finished the opening period shooting 1 of 15 from beyond the arc and trailed by five points by halftime.
“That’s not real good,” coach Fran Dunphy said of the 3-point mark. “We talked about that a little bit [at halftime].”
While the Owls were far from automatic from long range in the game’s second half, and finished 4 for 26 from deep, the Owls picked up on both sides of the ball in the game’s latter period en route to a 70-56 victory at the Liacouras Center.
Along with its 3-point mark in the opening half, the Owls shot 10 for 30 in the period overall in the sluggish start.
Temple (4-2) would take the lead six minutes into the second half after DeCosey hit back-to-back 3-pointers amid an 8-0 Temple run that gave the team a 48-45 advantage. The Owls continued to widen the margin from there, helped by six points and nine rebounds in the half for junior forward Jaylen Bond, who finished in double-double fashion with 11 points and 13 rebounds overall.
“I just try to be aggressive on the both ends on the floor,” Bond said. “[Sunday], I was just aggressive on the offensive end, crashing the boards and getting as many rebounds as I can to help my team out. … I pride myself in getting offensive rebounds because I know it adds offensive rebounds for my team.”
Bond, who has dealt with the after-effects of a sprain in his right ankle he suffered just before the season kicked off, netted career-high numbers in both points and rebounds on Sunday. While he registered a season-high 25 minutes on the floor in Sunday’s game, Bond said he’s gauging his health at 90 percent for the time-being.
“It was pretty tough,” he said of the injury. “I’m dealing better with it right now. I’m just trying to get back to 100 percent, and once I get back to 100 percent I just feel like I could help my team out a lot more.”
Junior guard Quenton DeCosey hit three long-range shots en route to leading the Owls with his 15 points.
Overall, Temple shot 38.8 percent (26 of 67) from the floor, including 43.2 percent (16 of 37) in the second half. The Blackbirds (0-4), who averaged 41.9 percent from the floor in the first half, shot 8 for 30 (26.7 percent) the rest of the way.
“They were pretty much doing whatever they wanted in the first half,” Cummings said. “We threw in some 2-3 defense to get them off-balance and just get them out of making shots. Make them think more and slow down the pace they were going out. That’s what we try to do when we throw zones out there.”
Led by Bond, who registered Temple’s first double-double since former center Anthony Lee netted 20 points and 10 rebounds against Central Florida on March 4 of last season, Temple outrebounded the Blackbirds, 50-40.
The Owls went to the free-throw line 25 times, cashing in on 14 of their opportunities for a season-low mark of 56 percent.
The team will have its second round of Big 5 action on Wednesday when it faces St. Joseph’s (3-3) at 6:30 p.m.
Andrew Parent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Andrew_Parent23.