Tulsa handles Owls with strong second half

Tulsa beat Temple 74-55 on Tuesday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center behind strong play from four of its guards.

With the chance to remain in sole possession of first place in the American Athletic Conference, Temple traveled to the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Tuesday for a matchup with Tulsa.

The Golden Hurricane used a strong second-half performance to defeat the Owls (17-10, 11-4), 74-55.

Temple and Southern Methodist are now tied for first in the conference standings.The Owls hold the tiebreaker over Southern Methodist because they beat the then-undefeated Mustangs 89-80 on Jan. 24 at the Liacouras Center.

Tulsa Junior guard Pat Birt and senior guards Shaquille Harrison, James Woodard and Marquel Curtis, who scored a combined 56 points, led the Golden Hurricane.

In the first meeting between the teams on Feb. 4 at the Liacouras Center, Birt and Harrison and Woodard combined for 59 points in the Owls’ 83-79 win.

After a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia with 16:17 remaining in the game brought  the Owls within one points, 39-38, the Golden Hurricane went on a 16-6 run over the next seven minutes to take a double-digit lead.

Over the final nine minutes of the contest, the Owls could not cut Tulsa’s lead to fewer than 11 points.

On Tuesday, the Owls shot 37 percent from the floor, compared to Tulsa’s 44.3 percent.

Temple was led by Enechionyia, who scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Senior guard Quenton DeCosey and Enechionyia were the lone Owls to score in double figures. DeCosey scored 11 points after totaling eight points in the Owls win against Houston on Sunday. He is a combined 5-of-24 from the field in the team’s past two games.

After coming into the game averaging 9.2 turnovers per game, ranked No. 3 in Division I, the Owls turned the ball over 12 times on Tuesday. It was the first time the squad turn the ball over 10 or more times since committing 11 against the Golden Hurricane on Feb. 4.

Temple led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but the Golden Hurricane closed the final five minutes of the half on a 10-3 run to take a 31-29 lead at halftime.

Michael Guise can be reached at michael.guise@temple.edu or on Twitter @Michael_Guise

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