"It hasn't really hit me yet," said Roberts-Campbell after the game. "I think we played as hard as we could. It just didn't go our way, but that's all I asked of the team — to give their best effort."
The Pirates, despite starting hot, couldn't find an offensive rhythm. Terry Whisnant finished with nine points and B.J. Tyson scored eight, but the two struggled just to produce those bellow-average numbers.
"I think we got out of rhythm in the second half," said Caleb White, who led the Pirates with 13 points. "Our shots didn't fall. Our offense just wasn't fluid at all. We weren't finding good shots."
To Temple's credit, the Owls used their physicality to hold Whisnant and Tyson from scoring.
"Terry has been struggling the last four or five games" said head coach Jeff Lebo. "They're being very physical with him and taking him out of his comfort zone, so he's struggling with consistency. The last four or five games, his shooting percentage has really dropped."
Tipoff was delayed almost half an hour because of problems with the lighting in the arena. Once things did get underway, ECU opened the game with four treys from four different players to take a 14-7 lead. Temple battled back with a quick 9-2 run, but the Pirates didn't surrender the lead until later in the first half.
Cummings hit a shot from beyond the arc to put Temple ahead 30-27 with 5:20 until halftime and, more importantly, give the Owls the lead they would hold throughout the remainder of the game.
Temple came out of the locker room and took its first double-digit of the lead just over halfway through the second. Neither side shot particularly well in the second half, but ECU went cold and even missed a handful of open threes.
"We had a chance there down the stretch where we missed three open threes," Lebo said. "That would have made a difference for us, especially late in the game. There was probably seven or eight minutes left and it was a six-point game, I think."
Temple dominated ECU on the glass. The Owls grabbed 41 rebounds, including 16 offensive boards that helped produce 12 second-chance points.
Moreover, the Pirates weren't able to go inside when the long distance shots weren't dropping. Michel Nzege scored eight points at the rim, but that was about as good as it got. Michael Zangari only had two points and Marshall Guilmette's three points came via a trey early in the first half.
"It's hard. We're not an inside oriented team, especially against that size that they have in there," Lebo said. "They're tough to score on. Everyone has a hard time scoring."