Temple Owls fall to 0-3 in conference with another tough loss to SMU
Updated: Jan 13
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) Following the two week absence due to COVID, the Owls fall to the Mustangs 79-68. Allowing four SMU players to score over 12 points, along with leading scorer Kendric Davis putting up 22 and seven assists, defense continues to be the main issue for the Owls.
Throughout the first four games of the season, Temple has yet to shoot over 40% from the field. When asking Coach Mckie what he thinks of this, he said, “I thought we could have attacked the basket more. That helps your shooting percentage as opposed to firing up 20 footers or 15 footers throughout the game.” Getting more comfortable driving and causing contact is something Temple is going to look to do in their next couple games.
Brendan Barry, the Owls top shooter so far throughout the season, added 17 points shooting 5-8 from the field in 33 minutes off the bench. Converting all five of his threes in the first half, SMU made the necessary defensive adjustments to control his hot hand in the second.
A player who had an opposite shooting outcome, Damian Dunn, shot 4-17 and finished the day tied with Barry at 17 points. Even though his shooting percentage wasn’t great, getting to the free throw line 11 times and converting on nine of them was where he was most successful. Jeremiah Williams, freshman starting point guard went down with a minor injury, who is the main defensive guard for this team. He finished with only four points in 23 minutes, and the team really needed more from him if they were going to contain Kendric Davis.
Another issue for the Owls was their paint presence. Post game, Coach Mckie said he believed this was a team he felt comfortable attacking inside on. That didn’t seem to be the case as Temple got out rebounded 44-31, including the six extra offensive boards by SMU. Having the Owls main big man Jake Forrester play only 17 minutes is not going to help them dominate the paint as Coach Mckie wants them to.
SMU now stands at 3-2 in the conference, and gains momentum following a two game losing streak. Sitting right in the middle of the AAC, there are still a lot of games left to play. SMU has now played in nine games compared to Temples four, and their experience and chemistry was shown, as Temple would come within four points but then allow SMU to take over the game after a timeout.
Temple will look to get their first AAC win Thursday against a 3-3 UCF team at 12 pm eastern time. They will then go onto face ECU Saturday at noon in a back to back conference showdown. With these being must win games for the Owls, expect big coaching adjustments, along with aggressive play to turn this losing streak around.