After a two-game road trip, the Temple Owls returned to the Liacouras Center on Saturday and stayed hot in a close win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Temple’s 67-58 win is its sixth in its last seven games dating back to early January.
But it wasn’t easy. Heading into halftime, the Owls had a comfortable 32-21 lead. It looked as though everything was going their way until Tulsa came roaring back during the middle of the 2nd half, eventually tying the game at 52-52 with 3:48 left in the game.
Coach Aaron McKie was asked about the blown lead, “We got comfortable. We got a nice lead. We had a nice flow. I thought it was one of our better halves of the year. It wasn’t great by no means, by no standards, but one of our better halves.”
Defense was the key down the stretch, as it was for most of the game. Temple forced 16 turnovers - eight in each half.
McKie was asked about the team’s aggressiveness on that end of the floor, he said, “We started to get a little slow. I thought (Tulsa) got off to a good start. The start that I didn’t want them to have, especially being on the road, and that’s an experienced team. We threw some full-court pressure in against those guys, and we got a few turnovers.”
Nick Jourdain has etched out a spot as one of the team’s key role-players throughout the season, as he did during Saturday’s game with a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with his game-high 15 points.
Multiple other Owls managed to score in double digits, including Jeremiah Williams and Zach Hicks who each scored t13, along with Damian Dunn’s 11.
With two wins in a row, the Owls take sole possession of 3rd place in the American Athletic Conference at 6-3 with an overall record of 13-7. Up next, another road trip to Tampa Bay to take on the South Florida Bulls on Monday at 7pm. South Florida is on a current four-game losing streak. They have a 1-7 record against the American and a 6-14 record overall.