Owls win fight for fourth place

Temple University men’s basketball moved into fourth-place in The American Athletic Conference with a win against Tulane University Sunday evening.

Hysier Miller, a freshman guard, dribbles the ball during an Owls' game against Tulane University at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 27. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University men’s basketball (16-10, 9-6 The American Athletic Conference) defeated Tulane University (12-13, 9-7 The American) 75-70 Sunday afternoon after an energetic start to the second half gave the Owls a lead they refused to relinquish.

The win pushed Temple into fourth place in The American Conference standings, putting them in position to earn a first round bye in The American Athletic Conference Tournament, which begins on March 10.

Despite a strong second half, the Owls got off to a rough start.

The Green Wave started the contest with an 8-0 run, preventing Temple from scoring. Four minutes in, freshman forward Nick Jourdain made a layup that gave the Owls their first points.

That play was all the spark they needed.

Freshman forward Zach Hicks hit three back-to-back 3-pointers and one free throw, putting Temple ahead 12-8 with eight minutes remaining in the first half. 

However, a call disagreement led head coach Aaron McKie to pick up a technical foul immediately after, allowing Green Wave sophomore guard Jaylen Forbes to make two free throws, making the score 12-10.

With the game tied at 29 in the waning seconds of the first half, Green Wave freshman guard Jalen Cook drilled a jumper before the buzzer, putting Tulane ahead 31-29 going into halftime.

Coming out of the second half, freshman guard Hysier Miller scored the Owls’ first points to tie the game at 31-31. 

Then, the Owls dominated.

Miller made a 3-pointer a minute later, which provided Temple with a 34-31 lead. The Owls never trailed the rest of the game.. The Owls never trailed the rest of the game.

“We got a lot of key stops late in the game and I think that saved us a little bit, “ Redshirt-freshman guard Damian Dunn said.

Dunn led the team with 19 points, and redshirt-sophomore guard Tai Strickland and Hicks both netted 15 points. 

The Owls will hit the road to take on the University of Houston (24-4, 13-2 The American) on March 3 at 7 p.m.

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