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Temple shakes off sluggishness, downs Towson

After both teams stumbled out of the gate, the Owls' offense improved in the second half in a 76-64 victory.

Temple's Josh Brown drives on Towson's Four McGlynn. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
Temple's Josh Brown drives on Towson's Four McGlynn. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)Read more

TEMPLE did not make a shot for the first 6 minutes, 42 seconds of the first half. The Owls did not eclipse the double-digit mark for more than 10 minutes of game action.

It took them over 20 minutes to find their groove offensively, but when they did, it was enough to put away the Towson Tigers, 76-64, last night at the Liacouras Center.

Temple (6-3) scored more points in the first 10 minutes of the second half (28) than it did in all of the first half (25). The second-half charge was led by senior guard Will Cummings and junior Quenton DeCosey. Cummings finished the game with 22 points, including 15 from the free throw line. DeCosey had 16 points, 11 in the second half.

"That's what gets us going, being aggressive and attacking the basket, getting foul calls," Cummings said. "That's something we got to be more conscious of, and just making the right plays to get those fouls and get back to the free throw line. That helps out a lot."

The offense for both teams was much better in the second half. Temple had the better day shooting, hitting 40.0 percent of its shots, including 50.0 percent in the second half. Towson did not have as much success (31.7 overall), but still managed to shoot 47.4 percent from the arc, which kept the Tigers in the game. They were led by Four McGlynn, who scored 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

"We just got into a rhythm," Owls freshman Obi Enechionyia said of the second half. "Sometimes that is going to happen. You might come out slow, but we have a lot of good shooters on this team who showed what they could do tonight. Sometimes it takes some time. They were able to get it done."

Towson (7-3), down as many as 16 in the second half, drew within six with just under 5 minutes in the game. That was as close as the Tigers got, as Enechionyia was fouled on a layup and added a free throw to put the Owls up by nine. The lead never again dropped below seven.

"I thought Obi's three-point play was huge for us, too," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "He had a great rebound, stick-back, and got to the foul line and finished the three-point play, which was critical."

The first half was as ugly as they come for both teams offensively. The Owls struggled their way to a 25-20 halftime lead, shooting only 29.6 percent from the field. They did play solid defense, which afforded them the lead at halftime by holding the Tigers to 23.3 percent from the field.

"Some games are like that," Dunphy said. "Obviously, we didn't shoot it well in the first half, nor did they, which was a benefit to us. You gotta just keep shooting the ball."

"I think we were just missing shots," Cummings said. "That was something; we came out just missing shots tonight. We wanted to pick it up on the defensive end, because if they didn't score and we didn't score, it's going to be zero-zero, or how it was for a while, 5-5."

Jaylen Bond, a transfer from Texas, made his first start as an Owl. He missed the team's first two games with foot and ankle injuries and came off the bench for the next six. He played 24 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

Temple's next game is 2 p.m. Sunday at Big 5 opponent Villanova, which is 9-0 and ranked seventh in the country. The game will air on Fox Sports 1.