Temple manufactured an early scoring run and never looked back on the way to a 73-57 rout of La Salle at the Liacouras Center.

Wednesday night was the Owls’ first Big 5 contest since Feb. 16, 2020, a span of 654 days.

Their second-best team shooting performance (47.5%) all season coupled with a shoddy performance from the Explorers (25.4%) improved Temple’s record to 4-3.

Temple had three players score in double figures: Khalif Battle (22), Damian Dunn (16), and Jake Forrester (12).

Sherif Kenney led La Salle with a game-high 23 points. Christian Ray had a game-high 12 rebounds.

Temple will play its second straight Big 5 home game at 4 p.m. Saturday when it hosts Penn.

Bench help due to injuries

Both Tai Strickland and Emmanuel Okpomo were ruled out with injuries.

Strickland has been a spark plug off the bench as the team’s third-leading scorer. Okpomo offers a bit of depth for coach Aaron McKie’s frontcourt rotation. Neither are expected to miss significant time, according to the team.

Their absence gave way for guard Hysier Miller and forward Arashma Parks to get additional floor time. Miller played a career-high 16 minutes and Parks tied his season-high with 7 in the win.

Wednesday’s win gave Miller more reps as a floor general and defensive pest. He had three points and two boards. Parks’ performance was highlighted by an and-1 that helped build Temple’s early lead but his time on court was cut short due to foul trouble.

Battle leads the way for Temple

Battle continues to be Temple’s premiere scoring option.

At the 11:46 mark of the first half, Battle knocked down a catch-and-shoot three deep in the left corner. He buried the same shot 30 seconds later from the opposite corner one step in front of the arc. He found the bottom of the net again a minute later, his shot oozing with confidence, from two steps behind the 3-point line.

Add his three free throws and the sophomore guard was solely responsible for doubling Temple’s lead from seven to 16 over a 4-minute stretch.

Battle finished the evening with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.

He came up limping on a dribble drive after stepping on Explorers guard Josh Nickleberry’s foot midway through the second half. Battle then went to the locker room and did not return.

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