TOLEDO, Ohio - Temple combined a good shooting performance with just enough defense last night to defeat Toledo, 77-58, and improve to 5-2.
"We're happy to come away with a win. I thought we did some really good things," said Temple head coach Fran Dunphy. "I thought, for the most part, we were confident as an offensive team and I liked that."
For the game, the Owls shot 28-for-53 from the floor (52.8 percent) and 11-for-24 on three-pointers (45.8 percent). Temple was also 10-for-12 from the free-throw line (83.3 percent).
But Dunphy was upset with Temple's 22 turnovers, which Toledo turned into 22 points.
"One of the things we needed to do was certainly take care of the ball and we didn't do a great job of that," Dunphy said.
Dunphy was also disappointed with the Owls' defensive effort, even tough Toledo shot just 23-for-58 (39.7 percent) from the field, which was a season-low, including 2-for-13 on three-pointers (15.4 percent).
"We didn't communicate as well as we needed to. I thought there were a couple of plays that we got back-screened. We left a jump-shooter open. Those kind of things," Dunphy said. "Coaches are nuts. We want perfection, obviously knowing you are not going to get it."
Temple got off to a good start, building a 30-12 lead with 8 minutes, 55 seconds left in the first half.
The Owls then went 5:25 without a field goal as Toledo cut the lead to six points, 30-24, with a 12-0 run. Temple had six turnovers and two missed shots during its scoreless span.
Aaron Brown hit a three-pointer with 3:29 left to put the Owls up, 33-24. After a three-point play from Toledo's Reese Holliday, Brown canned another three-pointer to close out the first-half scoring with 1:25 remaining and give the Owls a 36-27 lead.
Temple had 15 turnovers in the first half, but a 7-for-15 effort on three-pointers helped the Owls to the halftime lead.
Toledo cut Temple's lead to five points, 36-31, early in the second half. The Rockets were still within eight, 51-43, with 11:35 left in the game.
Two free throws from Khalif Wyatt with 9:48 left put Temple's lead into double digits to stay. The free throws started a 20-6 run for the Owls that put the game away.
Brown led the Owls with 19 points, hitting five of eight three-point shots. He is 9-for-15 on threes in the last two games. Juan Fernandez chipped in with 13 points, making three threes.
"We had a number of decent looks, but we missed some wide-open looks, too," Dunphy said about the three-point shooting. "We'll take the percentage."
"My teammates are definitely getting a lot of open threes," Temple's Anthony Lee said. "I know I just need to crash the boards and try to go and get the misses."
Wyatt did not start for the Owls after he was late for a film session Tuesday. Will Cummings, a highly regarded recruit from Jacksonville, Fla., got the start in Wyatt's spot. It was Cummings' first appearance for the Owls.
Wyatt finished with 11 points, four assists and four rebounds. He came into the game with 10:47 left in the first half and played 18 minutes.
"He had a film session and he was a couple of minutes late; just pay attention to detail," Dunphy said. "Not a big deal; but he knows now."
Cummings had six points on two three-pointers to go with five rebounds.
"I thought he shot it well and he did as good of a job as we could expect from him in his first college basketball game," Dunphy said. "I knew I wanted to get him in there and I thought it would be easier for him to start, rather than come off the bench.
"You get a little more leeway as a starter than you do as a bench guy," he added.
Temple big man Micheal Eric and forward Scootie Randall both remain out with injuries.
"We've really had to focus in on our defense a lot more and just pay attention to little details," said the 6-9 Lee, who had a game-high nine rebounds and added nine points. "Missing Mike right now, the big men and myself, we have to play a lot of good post defense and more help-side and be real efficient on defense.
"We've been able to do some good things without Mike. We do miss him a lot. We have to be on our Ps and Qs," Lee added.
Rian Pearson scored 16 points for Toledo, now 6-2.
Temple hosts Villanova on Saturday in a Big 5 game at the Liacouras Center, starting at 5 p.m.
"Any time you play a Big 5 game and a program like Villanova, it will be a tremendous test, a big challenge for us," Dunphy said.