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Temple beats Davidson, 66-53, for 5th place at Orlando Invitational

Owls coach Aaron McKie said he learned plenty about his team in the four days at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

Temple head coach Aaron McKie on the bench during the Owls' game against Maryland.
Temple head coach Aaron McKie on the bench during the Owls' game against Maryland.Read morePhelan M. Ebenhack / AP

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Quinton Rose came just one assist shy of a triple-double, but he wasn’t about to chide his teammates for missing a couple of late shots.

For Rose, the win was far more important, as Temple overcame a feisty Davidson team to take fifth place at the Orlando Invitational with a 66-53 victory Sunday.

It was Temple’s second victory in the three-game tournament, which included a loss to tourney champion Maryland and a blowout win over Texas A & M, and first-year coach Aaron McKiee said he learned plenty about his team in the four days at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

“Our strength in numbers is important. When you’re playing games like this, your third game in four nights, it’s difficult. It’s tough,” McKie said. “You’ve got to have some depth and your guys got to be in great condition, and that’s something they showed today.”

Pepe Sanchez remains the only Owl to record a triple-double, with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists against La Salle in 1998.

That is OK by Rose. He wasn’t upset at his teammates’ late misses.

“No, no … not at all,” said Rose, who ended up with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists. “It felt good, got a win, came together, finished the trip up strong, felt great.

“Yeah, I came pretty close, but I didn’t even notice [the possible triple-double], to be honest, until one of my teammates came up with about two minutes to go and told me.”

Rose had 33 points in the final two games after scoring just nine points in the opener against Maryland.

“We came in undefeated and then we took a loss, but it just shows we know how to bounce back, fight through adversity, and that’s just a reflection of Coach McKie,” Rose said.

Davidson opened the game with an offensive assault that had Temple (6-1) on its heels after a 10-2 start. Davidson hit seven three-pointers in the first half, and even though Temple was able to keep pace with a run of its own, Davidson still led, 33-30, at the break after Hyunjung Lee hit a buzzer-beating triple to end the first half.

McKie knew those three-pointers would come from a team that relies heavily on the long ball.

“I felt like our defense would wear them out and we were getting into those guys,” McKie said. “Those same shots they made in the first half, they were a little bit short in the second half.”

After the break, Temple had seen enough.

The Owls went on a surge to start the second half. A dunk by Jake Forrester and a three-pointer by Monty Scott capped a 10-0 Temple run during a stretch of 3 minutes, 2 seconds and it gave the Owls their biggest lead to that point, 47-37, with 12:15 remaining.

Davidson got as close as four points with a run of its own, but Temple never let the Wildcats any closer. Davidson went cold beyond the three-point arc, managing just one three-pointer in the second half. The Wildcats were 1-for-14 on three-point attempts in the final 20 minutes as Temple did a nice job of spacing its defense.

“We wanted to run at them and wear them down a little bit,” Rose said. “Those guys are shooters and that’s going to happen, but our game plan was to play our pace … and they just couldn’t make those shots in the second half. We played good defense. … We made an emphasis to run the shooters off the line.”

Scott hit another big three-pointer with 4:07 left and Davidson gaining momentum. That was followed by a Nate Pierre-Louis three-point play, and the Owls led, 59-47, and coasted from there.

Pierre-Louis ended up with 15 points and Forrester had 10, but the story of the tournament was Rose and how the team responded to the way he played.

“That’s pretty special in college to be able to [get close to] a triple-double with just the way the college game is played,” McKie said. “It just shows that his activity is high and we’re going to need him to do that every night. We’re going to need him to score, we’re going to need him to rebound, we’re going to need him to share the ball, so that’s important and he understands that. The better he plays, the better team we’ll be.”