Temple Owls

Temple to take part in Gildan Charleston Classic this November

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Temple to take part in Gildan Charleston Classic this November

For a second straight season, a Philly-area team is making a late-autumn trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

Temple announced Wednesday afternoon head coach Fran Dunphy and his team will partake in the 10th annual Gildan Charleston Classic, taking place on Nov. 16, 17 and 19. The Owls will open against Old Dominion at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, before a matchup with either Auburn or Indiana State the following day. They will then wrap up their run at the event with a Sunday contest against one of Clemson, Dayton, Hofstra or Ohio.

Last year, Villanova took home the crown at the same event in Charleston's TD Arena — home of the College of Charleston — after the Wildcats took out Central Florida, 67-57. 2017 will be Temple's third appearance at the Charleston Classic, following a second-place effort back in 2008 and a fifth-place finish in 2013.

The Owls have yet to announce their full nonconference schedule, but AAC matchups were released earlier this summer. Temple is returning a trio of double-digit scorers from last season in Quinton Rose, Obi Enechionyia and Shizz Alston, Jr., along with redshirt senior Josh Brown. They'll also add four freshmen into the mix this season as Dunphy looks to take the Owls back to the NCAA Tournament after missing it last year.

Temple holds off Drexel in 1st matchup in 10 years

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Temple holds off Drexel in 1st matchup in 10 years

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Shizz Alston Jr. scored 12 points and Temple got a big contribution from its bench in beating Drexel 63-60 on Saturday.

Temple reserves Damion Moore, De'Vondre Perry and Alani Moore II combined to score 19 of the Owls' 38 points in the first half. Temple (7-3) led 38-29 at halftime after Quinton Rose's 3-pointer.

The Dragons (5-6) opened the second half on a 7-0 run and Austin Williams' dunk tied it at 53 with 5:32 left. Temple regained the lead on a Rose jumper, but Sammy Mojica sank a 3-pointer and Drexel led 56-55 with 2:42 to go. It was the Dragons' first lead since 6-4.

Alston rebounded his own missed shot and scored and Rose fed Aflakpui for a layup and a 61-57 Temple lead. Kurk Lee cut the deficit to a point with a long 3-pointer with 15 seconds left, but Enechionyia hit a pair of free throws and Lee missed a 3 at the buzzer.

Demir led Drexel with 16 points, Williams scored 15 with 10 rebounds and Mojica scored 11.

Enechionyia was one of five Owls who finished with eight points and he added nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

Shizz Alston Jr., Quinton Rose lead Temple over St. Joe's in Big 5 battle

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Shizz Alston Jr., Quinton Rose lead Temple over St. Joe's in Big 5 battle

BOX SCORE

With five minutes and 22 seconds left in the first half and Temple trailing St. Joe’s, 26-24, De’Vondre Perry took a three-pointer that hit the back iron and missed long.

Out of nowhere, Quinton Rose streaked down the center of the free throw lane, leaped above everyone on the floor, corralled the offensive rebound and completed the two-handed slam to tie the game, prompting an eruption from the Liacouras Center crowd.

“That’s just how [Quinton] plays,” Shizz Alston Jr. said. “When guys start jawing at him he just turns it up a notch. I think some of their players were talking to him and he just got juiced up off of that.”

The play energized the Owls after a slow start, highlighting a 17-3 run to end the half and leading to an 81-78 Temple victory (see observations). Alston Jr. led all scorers with 20 points, including five three-pointers, and Rose added a 15 point, 11 rebound double-double for the squad.

At the start of the game, St. Joe’s came out hot, hitting on three of their first five three-point attempts and jumping out to a 17-8 lead early in the game. After a Fran Dunphy timeout with just less than 13 minutes left in the half, the Owls seemed to tighten up defensively.

“He just told us we had to pick it up,” Rose said. “It’s simple as that.

"I think we had a lack of communication and the biggest thing is we don’t finish our possessions with rebounds. We give up a lot of second-chance points. We just have to straighten that up and I think we’ll be good.”

Obi Enechionyia and Rose came up with big blocks and Temple started forcing turnovers. This helped the offense get going, in particular, Alston, whose 15 first-half points kept Temple in the ball game despite the hot shooting start by St. Joe's.

Perry, a true freshman, provided a spark off the bench for the Owls, contributing nine points in the first half, including two threes and a tough finish at the rim.

“He showed a lot of toughness,” Rose said. “I mean he’s young, but he showed a lot of toughness on the defensive end and rebounding. He made some big shots for us too.”

Perry attributed a lot of the open looks he got to his teammates.

“My teammates opened it up for me,” Perry said. “Either driving or kicking or just doing what they do best by penetrating and giving me the ball.”

Temple’s star big man, Enechionyia, struggled throughout the game, going 1 for 8 from the field and finishing with four points while being limited to 23 minutes because of foul trouble. Center Ernest Aflakpui came up big in his absence, putting up 12 points on 5 for 6 from the field and adding six rebounds.

“If we can count on a dozen points from Ern every game, that would be spectacular,” Dunphy said. “It’s obviously not his forte, but he did a terrific job. I thought he was poised at the rim and didn’t rush himself.”

In the last five minutes, the Hawks rallied from 16 down and cut the lead to four, but five clutch free throws from fifth-year senior guard Josh Brown sealed Temple’s first Big 5 and Atlantic-10 win of the year.

“I thought Josh Brown saved us at the foul line,” head coach Fran Dunphy said. “I thought he played great again. He played great against Wisconsin and played great again. I’m very, very proud of him.”

The Owls, now 6-2 on the season, will host the No. 4-ranked Villanova Wildcats, who could jump to No. 1 in the country after Duke’s loss Saturday, in another Big 5 showdown this Wednesday at the Liacouras Center.

“It’s a really big opportunity,” Rose said. “I hope they are No. 1 so we can knock them off.”