After going into halftime tied with Temple, Tulane started the second half of Tuesday’s game at Devlin Fieldhouse on a scoring drought.
The Green Wave tied the game at 38 but didn’t score for the next two minutes, 27 seconds, while the Owls went on a 7-0 run. Temple led by as many as 13 points in the second half in New Orleans.
The Green Wave closed the gap when redshirt-junior guard Cameron Reynolds hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut their deficit to three points with 3:15 left.
Reynolds’ nine rebounds and season-high 29 points were not enough to give Tulane its first conference home win, as the Owls (12-11, 3-7 American Athletic Conference) won their first conference road game, 79-71.
Sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr. fouled out with 1:34 left, ending the night with 15 points and six rebounds. Senior forward Mark Williams checked in for Alston, and Enechionyia checked in for sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui before Tulane sophomore guard Melvin Frazier split a pair of free throws to make it 71-67. Freshman guard Quinton Rose calmly sunk a jumper from the right elbow on the other end to give the Owls a six-point lead.
Reynolds made a layup to cut the deficit to four again before redshirt-senior swingman Daniel Dingle and Tulane redshirt-senior guard Malik Morgan traded two points on the next two possessions. Freshman guard Alani Moore II and Rose closed out the game with two free throws each. Rose had a team-high 16 points and a career-high nine rebounds.
Junior forward Enechionyia, who played 27 minutes, had to check out of the game with 8:50 left because of his fourth foul. He finished with 13 points to follow up his 16-point performance in Saturday’s loss to Houston. Williams also scored 13 points in 22 minutes off the bench. Temple’s bench outscored Tulane’s 31-14.
Both teams entered Tuesday’s matchup desperate for a win. Tulane had only one conference win and entered on a five-game losing streak, and the Owls entered with a 2-7 league record. There were seven ties and five lead changes in the first half.
Green Wave senior center Ryan Smith had nine points and five rebounds in the opening period, and Rose dropped 10 points on 50 percent shooting. Smith only had two points in the second half.
With the score tied at 24, Tulane sophomore forward Sammis Reyes collected an offensive rebound off a missed jumper by Reynolds. The Green Wave moved the ball quickly around the perimeter to Reynolds for a 3-point attempt. He missed the shot but Reyes was unguarded under the basket for a putback dunk with seven minutes, 13 seconds left in the first half.
At the 4:56 mark, Frazier dunked over freshman center Damion Moore to tie the game at 28. Frazier went coast-to-coast for a dunk with 2:31 left after a block by Reyes. The Green Wave scored 18 points in the paint and 16 second-chance points in the first half.
Tulane outrebounded Temple 22-13, including 11-7 on the offensive end, in the first 20 minutes. Both teams shot at more than 46 percent efficiency from the floor in the first half. Temple shot 54.2 percent in the second half to finish at 50.9 percent for the game.
The Owls’ next game is at home on Sunday against South Florida, which is winless in conference games.
Evan Easterling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Evan_Easterling. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.