Temple Owls

Temple blows chance at another resume builder

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Temple blows chance at another resume builder


WICHITA, Kan. -- As his teammates headed to the locker room after allowing 56 first-half points, Wichita State senior center Shaquille Morris witnessed their frustration.

And he saw opportunity.

Would No. 19 Wichita State allow Temple to beat the Shockers for a second time in 15 days? Or would Wichita State storm back?

After the Shockers' 93-86 victory Thursday, thanks in large part to Morris' 23 points and 13 rebounds, he had his answer.

"Tonight defined our team," Morris said. "We've gotten better.

"We needed a game like this, especially being down second half and showing resilience."

Darral Willis had 24 points for the Shockers (20-5, 10-3 American Athletic Conference). Morris and Willis, senior big men, were combined 18 of 21 from the floor.

"We rode them," Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. "When they play like that, you can ride them."

Austin Reaves scored 11 points for Wichita State, and Landry Shamet and Conner Frankamp each scored 10.

Temple (15-11, 7-7) hit a season-high 16 3-point shots on 29 attempts. Obi Enechionyia led Temple with 17 points and other Owls were in double figures -- Quinton Rose (16), De'Vondre Perry (15), Shizz Alston (15) and Josh Brown (13).

Temple brought a five-game winning streak into the game and was hot in the first half. The Owls were 11 of 15 from the 3-point line while building that 56-42 halftime lead.

Enechionyia spurred the offensive outburst, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 11 points in a 13-7 run the start the game. He entered the game averaging 11.1 points.

"Obi really got us started," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "I don't think we could have played any better offensively in the first half."

Shamet acknowledged he was "pretty frustrated" at halftime. "You don't want to be getting beat like that at home," he said. "It was like we couldn't find an answer."

Wichita State did after halftime, opening with an 11-0 run and eventually taking its first lead, 66-62, on a Willis 3-pointer with 11:31 to play.

"We made some coaching tweaks," Marshall said, "but it was really just about finding a way."

Morris did much of the damage with 16 points and eight rebounds in the second half. Dunphy credited Morris with "having a basketball IQ off the charts."

Morris' putback resulting in a three-point play with 1:54 remaining gave Wichita State an 84-81 lead it would not lose. The Shockers outscored the Owls 36-8 in the in the paint.

"Stickbacks killed us," Dunphy said.

Marshall said Morris diving in a pile of players to retrieve the ball, resulting in a Conner Frankamp layup, showed him more than any other play.

"This might have been Shaq's finest game as a Shocker," Marshall said. "He was a beast."

Big picture
Temple: The Owls backed up their hot streak, going toe to toe on the road with a top-20 team in a crazy environment.

Wichita State: The Shockers overcame a huge deficit to beat a hot opponent and, combined with Cincinnati's loss, get back in the conference race.

Coaching voice
Dunphy has been to more than his share of arenas, but Thursday was his first game at Koch Arena.

"You hear a lot about it, and it's a special place," Dunphy said. "Late in the game, we were trying to get our guys to come off the center line to press. We had no chance of them hearing us."

Marshall said it was "the loudest Koch Arena has been in many a year."

Shamet helping
Shamet had five assists, giving him 252 for his career. He is just the third Shocker to reach 250 before the end of his sophomore season, joining Fred VanVleet (282) and Joe Griffin (306).

Up next
Temple: The Owls host Houston on Sunday

Wichita State: The Shockers travel to No. 5 Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bearcats lost at Houston on Wednesday.

Temple put back on its heels in AAC tourney ouster

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Temple put back on its heels in AAC tourney ouster


ORLANDO, Fla. -- No. 11 Wichita State has advanced to the semifinals of American Athletic Conference tournament.


Landry Shamet scored 24 points, Rashard Kelly had 16 and the Shockers held off pesky Temple for an 89-81 victory on Friday night.

Wichita State (25-6) also got a strong performance from its reserves, including 13 points from Austin Reaves. Next up is the winner of the Houston-Central Florida game.

The Shockers won two of three against the Owls this season, and the outcome was in doubt every time.

"We certainly do bring out the best in them," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "The bottom line is that they make a lot of shots against us, but we usually do get great contributions from our bench. We go 10 or 11 deep and that's a good thing."

Wichita State led 78-75 with 2:23 left and closed it out with 11 foul shots.

Temple stayed close with its perimeter shooting. The Owls went 11 of 24 from 3-pointg range and shot 50.9 percent from the field overall.

Quinton Rose led Temple (17-15) with 25 points. Shizz Alston and Josh Brown each had 15 points for the Owls, who didn't have enough depth to keep pace with Wichita State in the final minutes.

"I loved our fight, I loved how we were hanging with them each and every moment," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "I think late we just needed another basket, another stop, but they're a really good basketball team. They made some veteran plays at the right time."

The Shockers were clinging to a 63-61 lead with eight minutes to play when Reaves, fellow reserve Markis McDuffie and Kelly powered a key 13-3 run. The three combined for 11 points in the surge and helped cool off Rose while leading Wichita State to a 76-64 advantage with just over four minutes remaining.

Shaquille Morris made two foul shots to put the Shockers up 55-45 early in the second half, but the Owls rallied behind Rose. The sophomore guard scored 12 of his team's next 14 points to cut the deficit to 61-59 with 9:10 left.

"Quinton did a great job in that stretch and got us where we needed to be," Dunphy said. "But again, we needed a little better effort at the defensive end and just be a little smarter."

Big picture
Temple: The Owls had some nice early season wins -- Wisconsin, Clemson, Auburn, South Carolina -- but need to take the next step in the conference season. The Owls were only 8-10 in AAC play.

Wichita State: The Shockers are aching for a rematch with top-seeded Cincinnati, but first they'll have to get past the winner of the Houston-UCF game and they've struggled with both. Houston handed Wichita State its worst loss of the season, and UCF took the Shockers to overtime before losing in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Wichita State will need another good night from its reserves to reach the finals.

Temple narrowly avoids disaster

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Temple narrowly avoids disaster


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Shizz Alston Jr. hit three free throws in the final minute and Temple avoided being upset by a lower seed in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament for the second year in a row, holding off Tulane 82-77 Thursday night.

Temple, the No. 7 seed, advances to face second-seeded Wichita State on Friday in the tourney quarterfinals.

Last year the eighth-seeded Owls were upset by No. 9 seed ECU.

Nate Pierre-Louis made a free throw with 1:01 left to give Temple a 77-71 lead, but the 10th-seeded Green Wave roared back behind two Cameron Reynolds 3-pointers sandwiched around an Alston free throw to make it 78-77 with :37 remaining. Alston was fouled with :16 left and hit both free throws to make it 80-77, and Caleb Daniels missed a 3 with :05 left that would have tied the game. Josh Brown added two free throws with a second left to set the final score.

Obi Enechionyia led the Owls (17-14) with 19 points. Alston added 17 points and dished eight assists and Brown added 15 points, six boards, three assists and two steals.

Reynolds hit 3 of 7 from distance and paced Tulane (14-17) with 22 points. Melvin Frazier added 15 points and Samir Sehic and Ray Ona Embo added 11 and 10 points, respectively.