Temple men’s basketball uses second-half run to sink Pirates

The Owls used a 12-0 run in the second half to beat the Pirates 76-64.

Junior forward J.P. Moorman II prepares to shoot during the Owls' game against ECU at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 1. | J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Senior guard Quinton Rose made back-to-back three-pointers early in the second half for Temple men’s basketball to put his team up by 10 against East Carolina.

Rose’s two three-pointers were part of a 12-0 run by Temple that lasted three minutes and 20 seconds. This run helped Temple (11-10, 3-6 The American Athletic Conference) break a four-game losing streak as it defeated East Carolina (9-13, 3-6 The AAC) 76-64 Saturday night at the Liacouras Center.

“Whenever you go on a losing streak like this, it can be easy to divert and go separate ways,” junior forward J.P. Moorman II said. “But I had to make sure I was the glue guy for us and kept everybody together.”

Pirates sophomore guard Tremont Robinson-White hit a floater with six seconds left in the first half to put his team up 32-30 going into halftime.

The Owls claimed a 26-10 lead in the first 10 minutes. The Pirates responded with an 18-0 run to take a 28-26 lead. After going down 26-10, the Pirates implemented a 2-3 zone defense, which the Owls struggled to break down. During the Pirates’ run, Temple went scoreless for six minutes and 17 seconds.

“We finally found a rhythm in their man-to-man,” Rose said. “They did a good job of switching it up and went zone. We struggled for a bit. We just gotta do a better job of limiting those runs. We can’t let it get out to 18.”

Senior guard Alani Moore II dribbles the ball during the Owls’ game against ECU at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 1. | J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Despite struggling with the 2-3 zone, the Owls still shot 48.9 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line.

“I’ll take that,” coach Aaron McKie said. “We haven’t been that close to those numbers in a long, long time. Guys have been confident for the most part. We just haven’t been making shots.”

Robinson-White led all scorers with 21 points. Robinson-White made 8-of-12 shots from the field.

Pirates freshman guard Tristen Newton added 13 points and six rebounds. Newton made 3-of-9 shots from the field.

The Owls’ defense limited Pirates sophomore forward Jayden Gardner to a season-low 11 points. Gardner only made five of his 15 attempts from the field. Gardner leads The American with 21.3 points per game.

Moorman and redshirt-freshman forward Arashma Parks were responsible for guarding Gardner throughout the game. Overall, the Owls limited the Pirates to 39.3 percent shooting from the field and 23.5 percent shooting from behind the arc.

“I just gotta do my best to keep [Gardner] in front,” Moorman said. “Make sure I make him take jumps shots and that was the best thing for us.”

Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis and redshirt-freshman forward Arashma Parks walk on the court during the Owls’ game against ECU at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 1. | J.P. OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Rose led the Owls with 20 points. Rose made four shots on only nine attempts from the field. Rose also made 10 free throws on 12 attempts. He added six rebounds.

Senior guard Alani Moore II, junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis and Moorman scored 14 points each. Moore went 5-of-10 from the field, which included going 4-of-8 from the three-point line. Moore also recorded four rebounds and four assists.

Pierre-Louis finished 6-of-9 from the field and added five assists and three steals. Moorman shot 5-of-11 from the field and added 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season.

Parks added nine points in 19 minutes off the bench. Seven of his points came from the free-throw line.

Next, the Owls will go to Memphis (16-5, 5-3 The AAC) on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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