Redshirt-senior forward Scootie Randall and redshirt-sophomore forward Anthony Lee each scored a career high in points to lead the men’s basketball team to an 80-66 win at Kent State (1-1, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) in the season opener Tuesday afternoon.
Randall scored 31 points and added a career high of four steals while playing 38 minutes in his first game since March 2011. Randall redshirted last season due to a nagging knee injury. Lee added 16 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes.
Randall, Lee, senior guard Khalif Wyatt, senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and sophomore guard Will Cummings started the game, but multiple reserves ended up playing as many minutes as Wyatt and Cummings.
Senior guard T.J. DiLeo had nine points, three rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes, and played point guard for the majority of the game. Junior guard Dalton Pepper had four points and four rebounds in 23 minutes, and redshirt-senior forward Jake O’Brien went 2-for-4 from beyond the arc to score six points in 18 minutes.
Wyatt, thought to be the team’s offensive focal point coming into the season, scored nine points and dished out six assists in 17 minutes. Cummings went scoreless, with three assists and three turnovers in 18 minutes.
Pepper and O’Brien both saw their first game action in a Temple uniform. Pepper had to sit out last year after transferring from West Virginia, and it was O’Brien’s first game at Temple after transferring from Boston.
Temple led by as much as 14 in the first half thanks to Randall’s 17 first-half points, but a late 10-4 Kent State run cut the lead to eight at halftime.
Kent State tied the game with 15 minutes, 33 seconds left in the second half on a dunk by sophomore guard Kris Brewer, but Randall hit back-to-back threes to bring the Temple lead back to six. The Owls held the lead, which got to as large as 17, for the remainder of the second half and closed out the 80-66 win.
Randall finished 10-for-19 shooting, including 5-for-12 from three, shooting percentages of 53 and 42 percent, respectively. Temple shot 53 percent as a team, including 36 percent from three, but were out-rebounded by the Golden Flashes 44-30.
Temple’s next game is at home against Rice on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.
Joey Cranney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @joey_cranney.