Owls recover, handily beat Blackbirds

After back-to-back one-point losses, coach Fran Dunphy emphasized a specific area in need of improvement.

“We’ve got to do a better job to put ourselves in a position that when we go on a run, we’re going to be up 10 and not equal or down a few points,” he said.

For much of Saturday night’s game against Long Island University Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, Temple was up more than 10, as the Owls trounced the Blackbirds 101-65.

Senior guard Dalton Pepper posted his first double-double with a career high 26 points and 10 rebounds, as junior guard Will Cummings also earned a career high with 23 points of  his own. Sophomore Quenton DeCosey matched his career high 19 points.

The first half remained competitive until a Cummings layup started a 27-11 run by the Owls headed into halftime. DeCosey and sophomore forward Daniel Dingle joined Cummings, Pepper and junior forward Anthony Lee as starters, as junior forward Jimmy McDonnell came off the bench for the first time since a loss to Clemson in the Charleston Classic.

Going into the second half, the Owls held a 38-22 lead that they would not come close to relinquishing. Temple outscored LIU Brooklyn 63-43 in the final 20 minutes of play.

The Owls dominated from beyond the arc, shooting 55.6 percent, as Pepper went 6-8 on three pointers. Defensively, Temple held the Blackbirds to a 28.8 field goal percentage.

Saturday’s game was the first time in 43 years that the two schools have faced each other, and the Owls have won each of the four match-ups between them. Temple has now scored 80 or more points in five of its last six contests.

The Owls will have off until a road New Years Day game against Rutgers at 8 p.m.

Avery Maehrer can be reached at avery.maehrer@temple.edu or on Twitter @AveryMaehrer.

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