From the beginning of the season, offense – and particularly three-point shooting – has been a problem for the Temple men’s basketball team.
But the additions of Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman on Thursday night might have solved those problems.
Morgan and Coleman both had to sit out the first semester because of transfers, Morgan from Massachusetts and Coleman from Clemson. But they both became eligible on Thursday and played a big role in the Owls’ 82-62 win oat Delaware.
Morgan hit 4-of-8 three-pointers and tied Quenton DeCosey for the team lead with 16 points as Temple hit 16-of-33 three-pointers overall. DeCosey, who was 3-for-4 from range also contributed seven rebounds and three steals.
“I was just happy to be out there, I was pretty anxious,” said Morgan, who had been out two years since missing his final semester at UMass with a knee injury. “There was a lot of emotion.
“I knew the time was coming and it was just about being patient and having teammates support me the whole time.”
Coleman knocked down two three-pointers right after entering the game and finished with nine points, the last of his points also coming on a trey. The first two threes came with Temple leading just 15-14 and sparked the Owls to the rout.
“There was a little nerves, but pretty quick you realize you’re just running up and down and playing basketball,” said Coleman, who wasn’t known as a three-point shooter with the Tigers. “I was open, I had to shoot it, Will (Cummings) did a good job finding me.”
Cummings posted 11 points and 10 assists.
Morgan started and played 25 minutes in his debut for the Owls, while Coleman was on the court for just 10 as coach Fran Dunphy will try to work out a rotation that is now 10 deep.
“I didn’t know (I was going to start),” said Morgan. “I just wanted to go out and compete. That was my mindset the whole time. In practice, guys are just selfless and coach does a good job of putting guys in position to make good plays, and it flowed tonight.”
The win improved the Owls to 7-4 and while impressive, came against a Delaware team that fell to 0-8 despite the return of Kyle Anderson, who scored 20 points in his first game back off a hand injury.
The task will be tougher on Monday night when Temple hosts No. 10 Kansas at the Wells Fargo Center.
“We were just anxious to contribute how we could and tonight it was hitting shots, but Monday could be defense,” said Coleman. “I don’t know if it was us in particular, but we executed well tonight.”
Morgan, Coleman lead Temple past Delaware
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