Temple men's basketball falls to No. 25 SMU

The Owls succumbed to a suffocating defense at the Liacouras Center

With perhaps a final chance before the American Athletic Conference Tournament in a few weeks to establish itself as a threat for the title and make its way up the conference standings, the Temple men's basketball team fell under a barrage of first-half turnovers to No. 25 SMU, 66-50.

Temple scored just 18 points in the first half and trailed by 10 at the break after turning the ball over 11 times. The Owls' offense picked up in the second half with only five turnovers and some clutch shot-making but couldn't complete the comeback.

Temple pulled to within as close as six, but the Mustangs pulled away. Turnovers weren't the only problem as the Owls were out-rebounded 49-32 and 15-7 on offensive rebounds, while shooting just 30.9 percent for the game. And on the defensive end, Temple had no answer for Semi Ojeleye, who scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Alston led the way with 13 points, but was just 4-of-15. Quinton Rose was often spectacular with 12 points in 25 minutes, including a breakaway steal and dunk and alley-oop jam off a pass from Alston.

SMU is 24-4 overall and 11-1 in the conference ahead of its Sunday showdown with Cincinnati, while Temple travels to Memphis - which the Owls defeated earlier this year - lugging a 4-8 conference mark and 13-12 overall record.

Temple is currently eighth in the conference standings, though the schedule eases somewhat down the stretch and it could move up a spot or two in the final few games.

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