Quinton Rose tossed in 23 points to lead four Temple players in double-figures and to their fourth straight win with a 90-73 victory over East Carolina Wednesday night at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Josh Brown had 17, Shizz Alston scored 14 points to go along with seven assists and J.P. Moorman had 11 points among six Owls in double-figures. Kentrell Barkley scored 20 points for ECU(9-14/3-9 AAC) while Isaac Fleming added 17 points to go along with nine rebounds for the Pirates. Shawn Williams added 13 and B.J. Tyson scored ten for ECU.
The Pirates tied the game early in the second half before a Temple offensive run put the game out of reach. Kentrell Barkley led the Pirates with 20 points to go along with nine rebounds.
“I thought that was a huge point in the game,” said ECU coach Michael Perry, “I thought fatigue kind of took it’s toll on us during that stretch and we don’t have a lot of bodies that we can turn to spell some of these guys. We really struggled during that stretch.”
“They’re going to continue to battle and fight. They’re competitors and fierce competitors at that. A lot of nights we’re going to be undersized and we’re going to have to give somewhere and it’s probably going to be in terms of being able to challenge the rim, physicality in the paint but we’re trading that for being able to have a little more offense.”
An 9-0 Temple run early in the game keyed by a pair of Shizz Alston baskets quickly had the Owls up 11-2 in the first five minutes of the game. Temple(14-10/6-6 AAC) scored three more times in a 17-6 game before Kentrell Barkley canned a pair of ECU free throws and then nailed a three-pointer on the next possession.
Aaron Jackson’s corner trey along with two B.J. Tyson buckets and another from Isaac Fleming cut the Temple lead to three midway into the first half. But ECU began to cool off offensively and a wide open Quinton Rose dunk off a baseline inbounds pass had Temple up again by eight at 28-20 with 7:38 to go in the first period.
Nate Pierre-Louie scored and Josh Brown gave Temple an eleven point lead on his eleventh point in the first twenty minutes. Then Isaac Fleming picked up a ECU technical foul for jawing at a referee while Temple was at the charity stripe and despite the Pirates’ best efforts to eat into the lead, the Owls were then able to erase most of ECU’s gains to lead by twelve points with less than five minutes before intermission.
Kentrell Barkley pounded it inside for his twelfth point of the half to trim the Owl lead to five points with a little over a minute to play. Fleming then slashed his way to the rack on the final possession and scored to keep the Pirates within six as Temple took a 41-35 lead into halftime.
Despite 43 percent first half Temple shooting, the Owls managed to get to the stripe with regularity where they canned 12 of 14 attempts. Both teams hit just 21 percent of their shots from the arc. ECU got to the foul line just five times in the half where they managed to make four of them to go along with 42 percent shooting at halftime.
Tyson cut the Temple lead to four early in the second half and ECU baskets from a Fleming layup and a Williams three-point bomb tied the game at 44-44 with 17:40 to go.
Barkley and Quinton Rose traded three pointers before a pair of Shizz Alston baskets, a Rose tap in off an inbounds pass and a Josh Brown three-point play in transition gave Temple a eight point working margin at 58-50. Then a Tyson turnover in the paint led to a Rose dunk to extend the Owl lead to ten.
Rose then slammed it right in Dimitri Spasojevic’s grill from the baseline on a tomahawk dunk to give Temple their largest lead at 13 at 63-50 with just under twelve minutes left in the contest.
B.J. Tyson’s drive in the lane did cut the lead to eight before poor shooting on the offensive end of the floor and less than stellar defense at the other end found Temple up by nine points at the five minute mark and the Owls coasted the rest of the way for a seventeen point victory.