Temple extends losing streak in close loss to Wichita State

The Owls could not keep up with the Shockers’ three-point shooting.

Temple University men's basketball head coach Aaron McKie signals to his players during the Owls' game against the University of Houston at the Liacouras Center on Jan. 23. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University men’s basketball (4-7, 3-7 The American Athletic Conference) fell to Wichita State University (11-4, 7-2 The American) 70-67 Sunday, extending Temple’s losing streak to three games.

The Owls got off to a rough start, ceding 13 points, including three 3-point shots, to the Shockers in the first five minutes. Four of Wichita State’s starters — sophomore guard Tyson Etienne, redshirt senior guard Alterique Gilbert, junior guard Dexter Dennis and senior forward Trey Wade — scored at least once during the stretch.

The Owls countered with a run of their own to get right back in the game, outscoring the Shockers 11-1 in three minutes and 45 seconds to put them in the lead by one point.

From then on, the teams kept the score close, trading blows for the remainder of the first half and much of the second half.

After a three-point shot from Etienne gave the Shockers an eight-point lead with less than five minutes remaining, the Owls made a push to get back into the game, at one point briefly taking the lead before falling behind once again. 

The game was tied with just more than a minute remaining before Etienne gave the Shockers the lead with a layup and three free throws. Trailing by three points with seconds left on the clock, redshirt freshman guard Damian Dunn attempted a three-point shot that grazed the rim and fell to the ground as the buzzer sounded.

Dunn led the Owls on offense, scoring 22 points, including all 12 of his attempts at the free throw line.

“Win or lose, we’re going to keep getting better,” Dunn said. “We understand that we’re all going to make mistakes. That’s what a team is for, to pick each other up. I’m proud of our effort and our intensity. We have to keep bringing it.”

After a low-scoring first half in which both teams combined to score just 54 points, Temple and Wichita State got their offenses into gear and combined for 83 points in the second half.

The one area in which the Owls could not keep up was perimeter shooting. The Owls made just three of 19 attempts from beyond the arc, while the Shockers made nine of 21 3-point attempts.

“You look at the numbers and that was the defining factor,” head coach Aaron McKie said.

The Owls’ next contest will take place on Feb. 11 at home against Eastern Carolina University (8-7, 2-7 The American).

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