- With a big second half, Tulsa put the game out of reach for Temple men's basketball and snapped the Owls' six-game American Athletic Conference winning streak. The Owls (17-10, 11-3) had a big lead in the first half but could come no closer than nine points in the final 10 minutes against the Golden Hurricane (19-9, 11-5).
For a second game in a row, sophomore Obi Enechionyia
was Temple's leading scorer with 17 points. He hit 4-of-6 from long range and also tied his season high with three blocks. The only other scorer in double figures for the Owls was senior Quenton DeCosey
with 10 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
The game featured three big runs, but only one for Temple that occurred early on. Tulsa's final run of 13-2 gave the Golden Hurricane a 14-point lead with 7:12 remaining, and they went on to lead by as many as 21 before the end of the contest.
Pat Birt led all players with 20 points for Tulsa, while James Woodard added 15 points and dished a game-high eight assists.
Temple trailed 9-5 in the first half before turning on the offense in a big way, using an 18-4 run over a six and a half minute stretch to take its largest lead of 12, 25-13 at the eight-minute mark. The Owls hit five of their first eight attempts from long range, with Enechionyia hitting two of those in the big run.
Unfortunately, the scoring slowed as suddenly as it had begun, and the Owls then went six and a half minutes without hitting a single field goal. Tulsa's run in that stretch was even better than the Owls' previous run, with the Golden Hurricane outscoring Temple 18-2 to take a 30-27 lead.
The last two minutes were slow for both teams, and Tulsa took a two-point, 31-29 lead into halftime.
Both teams started hot in the second half, but Tulsa slightly more so, hitting six of its first 10 shots while the Owls hit four of their first eight. Tulsa never trailed in the second half, and led early on by seven, 47-40 at 13:24.
Enechionyia continued to light it up for Temple in the early going of the second period, hitting both of his attempts from behind the arc to keep the Owls within one or two possessions. DeCosey scored four straight points near the 12-minute mark to pull Temple within three, 47-44, but it was all Tulsa from there as the Golden Hurricane outscored the Owls 27-11 the rest of the way.
Temple will be back in action at home for its next two games, starting with a noon contest on Saturday, Feb. 27 against UCF (ESPNews/1210 AM WPHT).Box Score (PDF)
l Dunphy Postgame Press Conference