Sophomore forward De’Vondre Perry “had a feeling” that Quinton Rose was going to have his best game of the season after he spent hours late Wednesday night practicing his shot in the gym.
On Thursday night, the junior guard propelled Temple University men’s basketball to a quick start by scoring 18 points in the game’s first 10 minutes, 20 seconds. Rose led Temple (15-4, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) with a season-high 26 points in the Owls’ 85-76 win against Memphis on Thursday at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls have won each of the seven games Rose scored 18 or more points.
“My first two [3-pointers], they were playing off me, daring me to shoot and [after that] the basket got kind of big,” Rose said.
Rose made just 19 percent of his 3-point shots entering Thursday. Rose shot 3-of-16 from 3-point range in his previous four games before making 5-of-9 of his attempts against Memphis (12-7, 4-2 The American). Rose’s five 3-point makes tied his career-high.
Memphis was aware of Rose’s shooting slump but knew he was capable of a big game, Tigers’ coach Penny Hardaway said.
“In warmups when I was watching [Rose] and he was making a lot of shots,” Hardaway added. “I don’t just look at percentage because any guy can get hot on any given night, especially when you’re a ball-player like he is.”
Rose’s 18 early first-half points contributed to Temple’s 18-point lead midway through the first half. Memphis eventually trimmed the Owls’ lead to just two points with five minutes remaining.
Rose’s significant first-half contributions gave Temple enough cushion to fend off the Tigers’ comeback attempt.
“[Rose] was unbelievable in the first half and that one stretch he was just making shots and got us off to a great start,” said coach Fran Dunphy.
Temple hopes Rose can carry his shooting performance into Sunday’s contest against Cincinnati (17-3, 6-1 The American). The Owls could move into second place in the conference win a win against the Bearcats.