No. 7 Villanova lit up Temple in an 85-62 victory Sunday at the Pavilion, but Owls coach Fran Dunphy was not ready to complain about his team's defense.
The 85 points 'Nova scored were the most allowed by Temple this season. Villanova shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and made 52.9 percent of its field goals for the game.
Dunphy was asked if his team had regressed on defense. "No, not really," he responded. Dunphy saw what everyone else saw from the Owls: an ineffective offense that continues to be a bigger problem.
"I thought we did a poor job on offense, which led to easy baskets for them on the offensive end," Dunphy said. "Some of their defensive numbers are skewed because our offense was so bad. And to their credit, their defense is really good. But no, I don't think this team has a misunderstanding of the defensive part of the game the way we did last year. We're better [defensively] now."
When a team makes 9 of 15 shots from behind the three-point line, as Villanova did on Sunday - some of them well-guarded, others not - it's going to be hard to beat.
Temple's starters combined to make just 13 of 44 shots from the field. Guard Quenton DeCosey led the Owls with 18 points. However, he was just 4 for 16 from the field. Backcourt mate Will Cummings also struggled, making just 4 of 14 shots to finish with 14 points.
The Owls were down by 39-26 at halftime. That deficit would have been worse had it not been for the play of freshman Obi Enechionyia. The 6-foot-9 forward needed just 14 minutes in the first half to notch career highs in points (10) and rebounds (six).
However, he played only seven minutes in the second half and was not a factor.
The Owls hope the arrivals this week of transfers Devin Coleman and Jesse Morgan will help.
"We've been practicing with them," Cummings said. "They can contribute. We just need them to come in and shoot and lock down on defense."