- Struggling from the floor for most of the game, Temple men's basketball hit a final lull in the last few minutes and suffered a 57-52 loss to visiting New Hampshire (2-0) on Monday night. The Owls (1-1) got another 20-point effort from junior Obi Enechionyia
, but it wasn't enough to overcome their 30-percent shooting from the field.
Temple trailed for most of the game, but took a couple one-point leads with under five minutes remaining. Leading 52-51 with 1:47 to go, the Owls combined a turnover with three missed shots as UNH scored the final six points of the contest.
Senior Daniel Dingle
notched his second double-digit effort in as many games, finishing with 13 points. Sophomore Ernest Aflakpui
grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, and sophomore Shizz Alston, Jr.
dished four assists while recording a game-high three steals.
UNH had a trio of players in double figures, led by David Watkins with 15 points.
The Owls' struggles were most evident early on. They hit just one of their first 14 attempts from the field and trailed by as many as seven on three occasions in the first half.
Enechionyia was a bright spot for Temple in the opening period, scoring all nine points for Temple over a three-minute stretch that got the Owls tied 18-18 with the Wildcats near the eight-minute mark.
UNH went on to take another seven-point advantage with four minutes left in the half, but the Owls had the margin down to three before the Wildcats' Jaleen Smith hit a trey at the buzzer to give UNH a 30-24 advantage at the break.
Temple fell into its only double-digit hole early in the second half, and UNH remained in the lead for the first 16 minutes of the second period. The Owls used a 7-0 run to cut the 10-point margin to three, and stayed within two possessions for the rest of the Wildcats' time in the lead.
Enechionyia scored five more points in a row starting with six minutes remaining, with his jumper giving the Owls their first lead since the opening minute of the game. The 49-48 advantage came with 4:10 left on the clock, but at the 2-minute mark, UNH hit a trey to take back the lead.
Alston, Jr. came right back down to match that three-pointer for another one-point Temple lead, but a UNH jumper by Smith put the Wildcats up 53-52. The Owls were forced to foul after a couple of misses, and the Wildcats' Smith and Daniel Dion combined for a 4-of-4 effort at the free throw line to seal their victory.
Temple's next game is its first on the road, as the Owls travel to former A-10 rival UMass for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Box Score (PDF)
| Coach Dunphy Press Conference
| Dingle and Enechionyia Press Conference