BROOKLYN - After roaring back from an early 17-point deficit and leading by as many as four with five and a half minutes left, Temple men's basketball was on the wrong end of an 8-1 closing run by VCU (4-0) in a 57-51 loss. The Owls (4-1) had their season-opening four-game win streak snapped and will now face Cal (1-2) in the third place game of the GotPrint.com Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper.
> Temple's shooting woes started early and the Owls found themselves in a 17-point, 19-2 hole just over seven minutes into the contest.
> The Owls got to within five before the first period ended, but still trailed 28-21 at halftime.
> Only three minutes into the second half, the Owls tied the game and it would remain close from then on.
> With 5:31 left, Temple took its largest lead of four, 48-44, but a Quinton Rose
jumper would be the only field goal by the Owls the rest of the way.
> Marcus Evans (21 points) scored six points in an 8-1 closing run for the Rams while the Owls missed four three-pointers and went just 1-for-4 at the line.
> Temple's leading scorer, senior Shizz Alston, Jr.
, was held to just six points on 2-of-14 shooting from the field.
> Sophomore Nate Pierre-Louis
was the only Owl to score in double figures with 11 points. He also pulled down eight boards and recorded a career and game-high six steals.
> The sophomore class truly led the way, as the other two - J.P. Moorman II
and De'Vondre Perry
- scored nine points each.
> Senior Ernest Aflakpui
led all players with 10 rebounds.
> After a miserable start, the Owls trailed 19-2 and again by 17 points at 21-4 near the midway point of the period.
> Temple committed six turnovers in the first eight minutes, but would go on to records just two in the final 12 minutes of the half.
> Both teams went a long stretch without a field goal after the seven-minute mark, and with 4:17 left in the period, the Owls still trailed 26-13.
> After a Pierre-Louis layup, Perry scored six straight points to cap an 8-0 run that got the Owls within five, 26-21 with 1:30 to go.
> VCU committed seven turnovers in the final five minutes of the half, thanks in large part to Pierre-Louis who already had a career-high five steals by the end of the period.
> De'Riante Jenkins made a layup for VCU for the final bucket of the half at 31 seconds, and the Rams took a 28-21 lead into the break.
> Temple was out-shot 50 percent to 24.3 percent in the opening period, and the Perry's three-pointer during the run was the only one that found the bottom of the net in 15 tries for the Owls.
> Alston's first bucket of the game early in the second half, a three-pointer, cut Temple's deficit to two at 28-26.
> The sixth steal for Pierre-Louis led to a layup, and it was soon followed by a 3-for-3 performance at the line by Perry that tied the game at 31-31 with 17:07 remaining.
> A turnover by the Owls later helped VCU go back up by five, 38-33, before back-to-back long range buckets by Moore II and Alston gave Temple its first lead of the night, 39-38 at the 11-minute mark.
> The lead was no more than three points for either team for the next five minutes until a 7-0 Temple run put the Owls up by four, 48-44 at 5:31. Rose scored back-to-back buckets in the run while also tallying an assist on the first bucket by Moorman.
> The lead was short-lived as VCU scored four straight for the game's second tie.
> Temple took one more lead at 50-49 on another jumper by Rose, but an Evans layup for VCU at 2:23 started the Rams' closing run as the Owls came up empty the rest of the way.
> Temple will face Cal in the third-place game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 (ESPNU / 1210 AM WPHT).