After using the same starting lineup for 14 games in a row from Dec. 17 to Feb. 9, coach Fran Dunphy made a change.
In Sunday’s game against Memphis, freshman guard Quinton Rose started in the backcourt with sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr. instead of freshman guard Alani Moore II. Freshman center Damion Moore also got added to the lineup, starting in place of sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui.
Rose had 18 points and six rebounds in his first-career start and Moore had a team-high eight rebounds in the Owls’ 12-point win against the fourth-place team in the conference.
Dunphy went with the same lineup on Wednesday against East Carolina, the third-worst team in the conference that entered play shooting 38.9 percent from the field. The Owls (14-13, 5-9 American Athletic Conference) allowed the Pirates, who were coming off a loss to last-place South Florida, to shoot 47.5 percent in their 78-64 loss on Wednesday in Greenville, North Carolina.
The Owls led by one point at halftime but got outscored 41-26 in the second half. Temple never led after East Carolina senior guard Caleb White’s jumper with 17 minutes, 31 seconds left in the second half. After a Pirates run, a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr. brought the Owls to within one point, 50-49, with 13:20 left. The Pirates then outscored Temple 17-3 to take a 67-52 lead with 5:51 left.
The Pirates led by as many as 19 points in the second half. East Carolina scored 20 points off nine Temple turnovers and outscored the Owls by 16 in bench points and in the paint. Four Pirates scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard and forward Kentrell Barkley’s 19 points. Barkley had 13 rebounds to finish with a double-double. White added 17 for the Pirates.
Senior forward Mark Williams led the Owls with 15 points. The Pirates held the Owls’ top two scorers in check. Junior forward Obi Enechionyia and Alston combined for 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting. The Owls shot 35.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
Temple’s next game is a Sunday evening battle against Connecticut at the Liacouras Center.
Evan Easterling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Evan_Easterling. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.