NEW YORK - In need of a feel-good experience, the Temple Owls had themselves a nice little shootaround Saturday night, nailing open three-pointers from all over the Barclays Center, from practically every spot around that line.
"We rode the wave," said Owls point guard Will Cummings, who finished with a career-high 23 points as Temple walked away with a 101-65 victory over LIU Brooklyn.
Getting over 100 points for the first time since 2007, the Owls did it by hitting 15 of 27 three-pointers and shooting 61 percent overall.
Dalton Pepper was the hottest for the longest, finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds, his first career double-double, after the senior made 6 of 8 threes.
"It felt like everything I shot was going in," he said.
Quenton DeCosey also had a career-high 19 points. Freshman guard Josh Brown put up a personal-best five assists in just 17 minutes.
Undermanned to start, with only eight scholarship players available because of injuries, LIU Brooklyn lost its two inside defenders soon enough to foul trouble. That forced the Blackbirds into a zone defense that didn't work out too well.
LIU Brooklyn (4-7) isn't devoid of talent. The Blackbirds almost got past Indiana in Bloomington, losing by 73-72. But going into Saturday they had given up 82 points a game. Since Temple gave up 48 to Aaric Murray by himself in its previous game, the over-under for this one was bound to be in the stratosphere.
LIU coach Jack Perri was impressed by Temple's defense against his point guard, Jason Brickman, who leads the nation with 10.1 assists per game, but finished with six on Saturday.
"They didn't allow him to get the ball back," Perri said. "That really hurt us, stagnated our offense. And they really covered the perimeter and funneled him to the basket."
Foul-shooting woes by both teams kept the score deflated in the early going. Temple (5-5) broke loose as its shooters got in rhythm, led by Pepper.
After halftime, everything was working for the Owls. With six minutes left, Temple already had 92 points. By then, five Owls had hit three-pointers: Pepper, Cummings, Daniel Dingle, DeCosey, and Mark Williams.
Dingle, a New Yorker, got the start in place of Jimmy McDonnell. He finished with 12 points, all after halftime. Josh Brown also was effective, getting the ball to open shooters before the half.
Asked what practice was like the last few days after the Texas Southern debacle, Cummings said: "Competitive, to say the least."