Redshirt-junior guard Monty Scott made a mid-range jumper with 16:06 remaining in the second half to put Temple men’s basketball up by three against Wichita State.
Scott scored all of his 11 points in the second half as he helped Temple (10-6, 2-3 The American Athletic Conference) upset Wichita State (15-2, 3-1 The AAC) 65-53 Wednesday night at the Liacouras Center. The Shockers are ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
“It always feels good to be out there playing,” Scott said. “It’s fun to be out there.”
After being down 32-26 at halftime, the Owls outscored the Shockers 39-21 in the second half. The Shockers only made 22.6 percent of their shots from the field and missed all 10 of their three-point shots in the second half after shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from the three-point line during the first half. Overall, the Shockers shot 30.2 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from three.
The Owls employed a 1-2-2 press defense in the second half, which helped them get back into the game, senior guard Quinton Rose said.
“It helped us out a lot,” Rose said. “We slowed them down. We weren’t necessarily trying to get steals.”
The Owls made shots more consistently throughout the two halves. After shooting 43.5 percent from the field in the first half, the Owls made 47.8 percent of their shots from the field in the second half. Overall, the Owls made 45.7 percent of their shots from the field. The Owls attempted 12 shots from behind the arc, only three of which went in.
“Honestly, I didn’t think they played very well in the first half either,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “I thought both teams were kind of sleepwalking, but obviously they turned it up in the second half and we just remained in our slumber.”
The win against the Shockers did not come easy for the Owls as they finished the game with 20 turnovers.
The Owls also struggled to defend Shockers’ senior center Jaime Echenique. Echenique finished with a team-leading 20 points and 13 rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting.
Sophomore guard Jamarius Burton finished with 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half.
The Owls’ defense also shut down Wichita State’s sophomore guard Erik Stevenson. Stevenson came into the game averaging 14.1 points per game, but finished with 0 points. Stevenson missed all eight of his shots from the field, including five threes.
“He wasn’t very good,” Marshall said. “He was sloppy.”
Rose led the team with 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field. Rose also made seven of his eight free throw attempts.
“He’s one of our more experienced guys,” coach Aaron McKie said. “In late-game situations, you gotta have a guy that you’re comfortable with that you can give him the ball. Last year, we had Shizz [Alston Jr.]. He was our primary ball-handler and he could close games for us. Quinton is gonna be in that role for us this year.”
Sophomore forward Jake Forrester added 11 points but only played 15 minutes due to foul trouble. Forrester finished with four personal fouls.
Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis contributed with eight points and 12 rebounds.
Next, the Owls will play Southern Methodist (12-4, 2-2 The AAC) on Saturday in Dallas at 8 p.m.