No streamers and balloons came down from the rafters of the Liacouras Center tonight, but the Temple Owls reached the .500 plateau for the first time this season.
With Villanova showing up next, the Owls will have to lift their game to stay at that level, but Towson was visiting tonight and Temple was plenty good enough to post a 69-46 victory.
Dionte Christmas led Temple with 16 points. Mark Tyndale had 11 points and 14 rebounds, and freshman forward Lavoy Allen tied a career high with 14 points.
Towson's point total was the lowest for an Owls opponent since a 74-45 victory over Rhode Island on March 8, 2006, in John Chaney's last season as coach. Towson made just 23.2 percent of its shots.
Midway through the second half, ahead by 40-22, Temple suddenly struggled against a trapping Towson 1-3-1 zone defense. Some misguided passes led to Towson fastbreaks, and the Tigers scored the next seven points.
With Towson in a man-to-man defense off an inbounds play, Christmas hit a contested three-pointer. With Towson back in a zone, point guard Chris Clark split a double-team and hit a runner in the lane to put the Owls back up by 16 points.
From there, the Owls had their way with the Tigers, going on a 16-4 run to put the game away.
In the first half, Towson never made field goals on consecutive possessions, shooting just 25.9 percent (7 of 27). Temple built a 32-17 lead by making 10 of 19 shots and getting to the foul line a lot more often.
For the Owls, Christmas scored 10 points, while the rest of the points were distributed pretty evenly.
Towson coach Pat Kennedy kept his ire aimed at his own team until late in the half, when Christmas may have gotten a little help from an official, who counted his layup and sent him to the foul line as well.
"It was continuation!" Kennedy yelled, referring to the long step Christmas took after getting hit on the arm. "The foul was on the ground. How can you call that?"
Christmas converted the free throw, and Owls guard Luis Guzman hit a deep three-pointer on the next possession to give Temple a 30-15 lead with 11/2 minutes left before halftime.
Ahead by 15 at the break, the Owls probably did not have to be reminded of the College of Charleston game, in which they lost a 25-point halftime lead in Puerto Rico. Not that it looked possible here. Towson made the first shot of the second half, but three straight Owls scores, the last an end-to-end fastbreak hoop by Tyndale, pushed Temple's lead out to 40-22 with 15 minutes left.