Strong first half paces Temple past St. Joes

Temple men’s basketball shot 67 percent from the field in the first half to win 108-61.

Junior forward J.P. Moorman II makes a basket during the Owls' game against Saint Joseph's University at the Liacouras Center on Dec. 10. | J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Junior forward J.P. Moorman II stole the ball from Saint Joseph’s redshirt-junior guard Ryan Daly and made a slam dunk in transition as the first half ended.

Temple men’s basketball (7-2) beat Big 5 rival St. Joseph’s (2-9) 108-61 Tuesday night at the Liacouras Center. Tuesday’s game was the first time the Owls crossed the century mark since beating Long Island University Brooklyn 101-65 on December 21, 2013.

“Great game by Temple,” St. Joe’s coach Billy Lange said. “They made every shot, we missed every shot. Floodgates opened. Their athleticism at times was overwhelming. You can see that even when you watch them on film.” 

The Owls went into the locker room up 55-30 after Moorman’s dunk. The Owls shot 67 percent from the field in the first half while the Hawks shot 31 percent.

The Owls did not let their momentum stall in the second half. Temple shot 58 percent from the field in the last 20 minutes while St. Joe’s only made 31 percent of its shots.

Overall, the Owls shot 8-of-15 from the three-point line. The Hawks made 12 three pointers during the game but attempted 42 overall.

The Owls had five players scoring in double digits. Sophomore forward Jake Forrester led the team with 17 points and made all eight of his shots from the field. Forrester scored a lot of his points from scoring in the post. He also grabbed six rebounds.

“I’m not solidified just in the post,” Forrester said. “My coach would let me shoot the three if I’m in that situation. I’m just looking to get stops on defense, rebounds and the offense will come for me. Just working in the post everyday lets me know that I can have that spot solidified when I’m in that position. I can work on other stuff, but that will come.”

Senior guard Quinton Rose added 14 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals. Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis scored 12 points while making six of his eight shots from the field. Pierre-Louis also had six rebounds. Redshirt-freshman forward Arashma Parks and redshirt-junior guard Monty Scott scored 10 points each off the bench.

Moorman, senior guard Alani Moore II, junior forward De’Vondre Perry and freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis each contributed nine points.

“I feel like it was a little selfless on the ball,” Nate Pierre-Louis said. “I feel like today we made a point of emphasis to swing the ball back-and-forth and being more selfless. We were just moving the ball and everybody was just having the ball out there.”

Hawks’ redshirt-sophomore forward Myles Douglas led his team with 14 points. Senior guard Toliver Freeman added 12 points. Douglas and Freeman were the only Hawks to score in double digits.

Daly, the Hawks’ leading scorer, only scored two points. Daly, who averages 20.2 points per game, was guarded by Nate Pierre-Louis throughout the game. Daly scored 32 points against nationally-ranked Villanova (7-2) in St. Joe’s last game on Saturday in a 78-66 loss.

Coach Aaron McKie credited Nate Pierre-Louis’ defense against Daly.

“It’s what Nate [Pierre-Louis] does,” McKie said. “He doesn’t get enough credit for it. He looks forward to that. But he really got us going. For him to be able to keep such a high-power offensive player quiet like he did, nobody’s gonna really talk about it. Everybody’s gonna look at the score. At the end of the day, Nate got it going by keeping Daly quiet.” 

Temple will have a week off before its next game against the University of Miami (5-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) in a neutral-site game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 9:30 p.m. The game is a part of the inaugural Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.

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