With 18.5 seconds left in the game, Bulls’ senior guard Javon Greene hit his team’s first 3-pointer of the game, giving them a one-point lead they did not relinquish down the stretch. The Bulls shot 8.3 percent from 3-point territory yet still defeated a Temple team that had won four of its last five games.
Temple University men’s basketball (13-8, 6-4 The American Athletic Conference) fell to the University of South Florida (7-14, 2-8 The American) 52-49 Monday evening, marking the Owls’ first ever loss in Tampa Bay, Florida.
“We just was out of sync throughout the game,” said head coach Aaron McKie. “It was just one of those games.”
During the game, Temple freshman guard Jeremiah Williams injured his shoulder in the middle of the first half and did not return. Redshirt-freshman guard Damian Dunn also injured his foot late, but returned to the game.
Temple’s offense was stagnant from the start, with the Owls committing six turnovers within the first 10 minutes, going down by six. The Bulls dominated inside, constantly blocking shots and forcing bad Temple misses while finishing well inside.
Redshirt-sophomore guard Tai Strickland had two bad turnovers within the final two minutes, cementing their terrible loss.
Temple had 10 different scorers throughout the game. Dunn led with 11 points, while freshman forward Zach Hicks had eight points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Jahlil White had eight rebounds, while freshman forward Nick Jourdain pulled down seven for the Owls. Temple out-rebounded the Bulls 44 to 31 in the loss.
Temple also continued to struggle from the free throw line as they shot just 50 percent from the charity stripe against the Bulls.
The Bulls only had six scorers, yet they converted when it mattered the most. Three reached double-digits: sophomore center Russel Tchewa with 13, sophomore guard Jamir Chaplin with 14 and freshman guard Caleb Murphy with 10. Freshman forward Corey Walker Jr. had three rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Even though it may be their worst performance so far this season, the Owls still outperformed the Bulls in almost every category. However, it was the turnovers that proved to be costly, with the Bulls forcing 18 Temple turnovers.
Next, the Owls will continue their road trip against Tulane University (10-10, 7-4 The American) on Feb. 12 at the Devlin Fieldhouse.