Temple men’s basketball loses fifth in a row

Central Florida held the Owls scoreless for more than 10 minutes during the second half of its 60-39 win on Sunday in Orlando, Florida.

Sophomore guard Quinton Rose (left) reaches for a ball during the Owls' 55-53 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday at the Liacouras Center. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

With 13 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second half, freshman guard Nate Pierre-Louis banked in a 3-pointer from the right wing to cut the Owls’ deficit to five against Central Florida.

Temple didn’t score again for the next 10:14. While the Owls went scoreless, the Knights scored 14 points to expand their seven-point halftime lead on their way to a 60-39 win in Orlando, Florida.

Temple didn’t attempt a free throw during its scoring drought and only attempted one during the entire game. Temple also attempted just one free throw in February 2017 against Central Florida.

The Knights (12-4, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) won their third straight game and their eighth of their last nine. Their fans will enjoy a parade for the school’s football team, the only undefeated program in the Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision, later on Sunday in Disney World.

Meanwhile, Temple (7-8, 0-3 The American) has now lost five in a row and has dropped to below .500. 

Temple’s three double-figure scorers, sophomore guard Quinton Rose, junior guard Shizz Alston Jr. and senior forward Obi Enechionyia, combined for six points on 3-for-20 shooting from the field.

Temple shot just 4-for-22 from beyond the 3-point arc. The trio of Rose, Alston and Enechionyia combined to shoot 0-for-10 from 3-point range.

Pierre-Louis led Temple with a career-high 13 points in 18 minutes.

Freshman guard Nate Pierre-Louis attempts a free throw during the Owls’ 55-53 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday at the Liacouras Center. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Central Florida had two double-figure scorers, redshirt-freshman guard Caesar DeJesus and redshirt-junior guard Dayon Griffin. Redshirt-sophomore guard Terrell Allen, who entered play sixth in The American in steals per game, pickpocketed two Owls and dished seven assists.

Temple has held its past two opponents to 60 points or fewer. Its record in such games has fallen to 4-2. Central Florida shot 46.7 percent from the field and scored a season-high 20 points off turnovers.

Temple turned the ball over 19 times to Central Florida’s 15. The Owls’ turnover total is a season-high. Their 3-point percentage and point total are season-lows.

The Owls’ next game is on the road in Dallas on Wednesday against Southern Methodist (12-4, 2-1 The American), which received five votes in the Week 9 Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The Mustangs are 65th in the Ratings Percentage Index and projected as a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi. They’ve won 33 straight home games.

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