MUSTANGS CONTINUE SECOND HALF WOES AT TEMPLE

by Dan M | Posted on Sunday, February 9th, 2020

Image result for SMU vs TEMPLE Feb 8

BY:  Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                      MEMBER:  United States Basketball Writers Association

The SMU Mustangs were hot shooters from three point land to start the game against the Temple Owls Saturday afternoon at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.  SMU trailed only at 2-0 in the first half building a 17 point lead by halftime.  Their attempt at getting a very much needed Quad 2 win went by the wayside though as Temple came back to score 66 points after intermission to take a 97-90 win.  SMU falls to 16-6 on the season and 6-4 in American Athletic Conference play.  Temple moves up to 12-11 and 4-7.

SMU’s first three baskets were threes from three different players as they took a 9-2 lead.  Thirteen minutes into the game, the Ponies stretched the lead into double digits with a 10-0 run.  That lead grew to as many as 19 points, and they led 48-31 at halftime lead to the halftime.  The Mustangs made nine three point shots to just two for Temple, as they shot 63% from the field.  That included 64.3% on three point attempts.  Five different players made a three point basket.  The 48 points was the highest scoring half this season for SMU.  

It all changed in the second half.  It took the Owls 7.5 minutes to cut the lead into single digits.  A minute later, SMU’s lead was down to six points, and it was game on.  SMU never again led by more than six points.  Temple kept pecking away and finally tied the game at 73 with just over two minutes left in regulation.  A minute later, the Owls took their first lead since 2-0 at 78-77.  A Monty Scott basket stretched Temple’s lead to three points at 80-77, but Tyson Jolley made three pressure packed free throws with 13 seconds left to tie the game.  Quinton Rose’s last second jump shot missed sending the game to overtime.  

Rose led the Owls with 25 points in the game.  Eight of those points came in the second half rally that tied the game.  He proceeded to score Temple’s first nine points in overtime.  SMU came out in a 2-3 zone, and Rose exploited a soft spot around the free throw line to hit four of five shots.  Temple took the lead on Rose’s first basket, but SMU took the lead back with C. J. White’s three pointer.  The lead changed three more times as Rose and SMU alternated two point baskets.  Rose’s fourth basket was a three-pointer giving Temple an 89-85 lead that they never surrendered.  

Temple came into the game as one of the lower scoring teams in the conference as they averaged 68 points per game.  They somehow managed 49 points in the second half and 17 more in overtime to score 66 after intermission.  Amazing!  SMU came into the game leading the conference in scoring and put 90 points on the board and lost.  Amazing!

Kendric Davis led the Mustangs with 23 points and completed a double-double with 10 assists.  Davis also led the Ponies with seven rebounds.  Jolly and Isiaha Mike tallied 13 apiece.  Feron Hunt and White came off SMU’s bench to score 11 and 10 respectively.  One bright spot for the Mustangs was the play of Everett Ray.  He had missed five games with a knee injury, but played 10 minutes Saturday and scored eight points.

Temple put four players in double digits.  Scott was the big surprise.  His high game of the season before Saturday was 11 points, but he came off the Temple bench to score 22.  Alani Moore, II (14 points) and Jake Forrester (11) were the other double digit scorers besides Rose.

This was an especially damaging loss for SMU’s hopes of receiving a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The Mustangs have no quadrant II wins on the season.  This game counted as a quadrant II game despite Temple’s so-so record because it was played on the road.  The Mustangs are tied with Memphis for fourth place in the conference behind Houston, Cincinnati and Tulsa.

SMU has four home games remaining, and they are four of the five best opponents on this season’s home schedule.  They return to Moody Coliseum this Wednesday night to face the University of Connecticut Huskies.  This will be the last time for Connecticut to play SMU in Dallas as members of the American Athletic Conference, as the Huskies are moving on to the Big East next year.  Connecticut is 13-10 for the season and 4-6 in American Athletic Conference play, but they are coming off a fantastic week.  They beat then conference leading Tulsa last Thursday in Tulsa, and beat first place Cincinnati at home on Sunday.  Wednesday’s game time is 6:00 PM (Central), and the game will be televised on ESPN News.

NOTABLE:

  •     This was SMU’s third overtime game of the season, all on the road.  The Mustangs are 1-2 in those games.
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