Temple men’s basketball overcomes slow first half for win against Rider University

The Owls ended the game on a 41-15 run.

Junior forward De'Vondre Perry makes a basket during the Owls' game against Rider at the Liacouras Center on Dec. 21. | J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Junior forward De’Vondre Perry received an alley-oop from senior guard Quinton Rose as the crowd at the Liacouras Center erupted.

This tied the game at 51 with 12:08 remaining in the game. On the next possession, junior forward J.P. Moorman II made a mid-range jumper to give Temple (8-3) a two-point lead. After Moorman’s jumper, the Owls did not relinquish the lead as they beat Rider University (7-3, 1-0 Metro Atlantic Conference) 78-66 on Saturday afternoon.

The Broncs led 51-37 with 15 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the game. From that point on, the Owls went on a 41-15 run to end the game.

“In the second half, we came out a little sluggish,” Rider coach Kevin Baggett said. “We missed some layups. We missed some open shots that we made in the first half. They started driving our zone, breaking it down. We had some breakdowns defensively and they found the open guys and made some shots that they didn’t make in the first half.”

In the second half, the Owls shot 7-of-12 from behind the arc as the Broncs only made one three out of 10 attempts. Senior guard Alani Moore II scored all 15 of his points from the three. Moore led the team in points and finished 5-of-10 from the three-point line.

“Everybody was chimed in,” Moore said. “The bench was involved. Coach [Aaron McKie] was just running our offense and getting everybody the ball and moving the ball. Getting open shots was very key.”

Freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis finished with 12 points off the bench and made two three-pointers on four attempts.

Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis scored 11 points. Nate Pierre-Louis, who is a 20 percent three-point shooter on the season, made two of his three attempts from behind the arc.

Perry finished with eight points off the bench and made both of his three-point attempts. Perry left the game with 14:11 remaining after he was elbowed and bleeding from the mouth. Perry returned in the second half and scored all eight of his points in the half.

‘[Perry] is probably one of our toughest dudes on the team,” Moore II said. “I never have a doubt in my mind that he’s not gonna fight for us. Everyone on the team knew that he was gonna try to come out back to play. And he did. He came out and made two key blocks on the other end and two key threes.”

Sophomore forward Jake Forrester made his first start in a Temple uniform and scored 14 points and made seven of his nine shots from the field. Forrester played 21 minutes and grabbed four rebounds.

“I thought he was giving us a little more in the interior,” McKie said. “On the offensive side, defensive side [he gives us] more physicality. I just wanted him to get in there. I feel like we have to start getting some more interior, getting the ball inside.” 

The Broncs went into the locker room with a 41-33 lead. In the first half, the Broncs shot 7-of-14 from the three-point line as the Owls shot 4-of-12. Redshirt-junior forward Frederick Scott led the Broncs with 17 points. Graduate student guard Willy Nuñez, Jr added 13 points while shooting 5-of-9 from the field. Redshirt-junior forward Dimencio Vaughn earned a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Broncs outrebounded the Owls 27-17 in the first half. Rider had a 10-3 advantage in offensive rebounds.

“Instead of me trying to throw my body, I was trying to out jump the opponent,” Forrester said. “They just got more rebounds than we did.”

Next, the Owls will begin conference play against Central Florida (9-3) on Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. in Orlando.

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