Temple falls to Villanova

The Temple basketball team finished its first 10 games of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 7 Villanova, 85-62, in the Owls’ Big 5 finale. The loss dropped the Owls to 6-4 on the season, not a record that would indicate they are in prime position to return to the NCAA Tournament just yet, but certainly better than last year when they finished 9-22.

The Temple basketball team finished its first 10 games of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 7 Villanova, 85-62, in the Owls’ Big 5 finale.

The loss dropped the Owls to 6-4 on the season, not a record that would indicate they are in prime position to return to the NCAA Tournament just yet, but certainly better than last year when they finished 9-22.

And starting with Thursday’s game at winless Delaware, the Owls will add two players – transfer guards Jesse Morgan (Massachusetts) and Devin Coleman (Clemson) will be eligible. “It will be different, neither has played a game for Temple University,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “We’ll get them in the game as early as we can, and it will be interesting to see.”

The Owls continued what has been a season-long shooting deficiency, hitting on just 34.6 percent of their shots, while the Wildcats connected on 52.9 percent.

“It was a little but of everything but we didn’t work hard enough, that was the moral of the story,” said Temple senior point guard Will Cummings, who scored 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting. “They just out-worked us, that was what it was.

“We’re looking forward to having those guys backs, but we still have to defend and make shots. That’s the areas we struggled today.”

Dunphy didn’t feel effort was the issue. The Owls did fight for 10 offensive rebounds, which helped them stay in the game throughout most of the first half. “We did a poor job on offense and that led to easy baskets for them on the offensive end,” said Dunphy.

Down by as many as 24 points, the Owls pulled back within 13 with just over four minutes to go behind their defense as turnovers set up transition baskets. But the Wildcats put the game away, improving to 10-0 on the season.

Quenton DeCosey finished with 18 points for the Owls, while freshman Obi Enechionyia contributed 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Darrun Hilliard and Josh Hart each scored 20 points for Villanova, its first two 20-point scorers of the season.
“It was a good win for us against a tough team,” said Villanova coach Fran Dunphy. “They’ve been getting better and better each game. They’re a very good defensive team. To score 85 points was good for us, because they really defend.”

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