PHILADELPHIA– Since Aaron Mckie’s promotion as head basketball coach at Temple, the Owls have been one of the best defensive teams in their conference and one of the poorest offensively.
Temple is ranked third out of the 12 teams in scoring defense in the American, with an average of 63.4 ppg, while offensively, they rank 11th out of 12 scoring an average of 67.6 ppg.
Wednesday night was the complete opposite of what you would expect from the Owls as they exploded for 82 points on the offensive end, their second highest point total in a single game this year.
While that is certainly a positive for a team that has struggled to put the ball in the basket, the more shocking performance from the Owls was on the defensive end, as they allowed 89 points in a loss to a Cincinnati team that averages 72.7 ppg, good for fourth in the conference.
“We scored 82 points today, if you asked me yesterday or last week if we scored 82 points, I feel like we’re in pretty good shape to win a basketball game,” McKie said. “But we scored 82 points tonight and we gave up 89.”
“I don’t know if we expected two of the top defensive teams in the league to have a game that high scoring.” Cincinnati Head Coach John Brannen said.
While Cincinnati shot 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep, it was their 28-for-34 performance from the charity stripe that ultimately won them the game.
“It was not good enough,” McKie said. “Those guys shot 52 percent from the field, 39 percent from three, 82 from the line, 82 from the line getting 34 attempts, that a recipe for disaster so we got to get better, we got to get better with that.”
On the offensive end of things, Temple wing Quinton Rose scored a game-high as well as a season-high 26 points on 8-13 shooting and 4-5 from deep. Guard Nate Pierre-Louis scored a season-high 22 points on 9-15 shooting. Guard Alani Moore II chipped in with 14 points, including four first half three’s.
The Owls were in it with the Bearcats all the way to the end, but could not capitalize on key moments towards the end of the game that could’ve given them the tie or the lead.
“It’s been more of just decision-making and shot making that’s really been our achillies heal,” McKie said. “Just the timing of everything, we could be having a good flow going and we can just have a critical turnover, just the timing of everything for us just has not been great.”
The loss drops Temple to 10-8 and 2-5 in AAC play.
Up next for the Owls is a Big 5 match against Penn at the Palestra at 2 PM.