After an impressive opening overtime win over La Salle, Temple's basketball team couldn't duplicate that performance over a hustling New Hampshire squad.
Shooting just 20 for 66 from the field and 6 of 27 from three-point range Temple fell to the Wildcats, 57-52, Monday at the Liacouras Center in a preseason NIT contest.
The Owls (1-1) will head to Massachusetts on Thursday. New Hampshire, guided by former Drexel coach Bill Herrion, is 2-0.
"Our offense let us down," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
Herrion, who led Drexel to three NCAA tournament berths in his eight seasons, said this was the first time in 18 years he has been back coaching in Philadelphia. Now in his 12th season at New Hampshire, he has a team that won 39 games over the last two seasons and is considered a contender in the America East.
"We really fought hard," Herrion said. "I thought we did not play scared, we weren't intimidated and I thought we kind of played from the opening tip."
Temple was led by 6-foot-10 junior Obi Enechionyia, who had 20 points for the second consecutive game. He shot 8 for 17 and his teammates were 12 for 49.
"Not to say they didn't do a good job on defense, but we didn't execute like we usually do, like I know we can," Enechionyia said.
The Owls trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half but took a 49-48 lead on Enechionyia's turnaround corner jumper with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left. It was their first lead since being up 5-3 in the game's first minute.
Temple fell behind again, but Shizz Alston's three-pointer from the left wing gave the Owls a short-lived 52-51 lead with 1:47 left. Alston was the hero in Friday's 97-92 win overtime win over La Salle with seven of his 14 points in the extra period. Against New Hampshire, he hit just 1 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Point guard Jaleen Smith's driving layup gave New Hampshire a 53-52 advantage with 1:21 remaining. Smith then stole the ball from freshman Quinton Rose.
The Wildcats' Daniel Dion missed a jumper, but Alston was off on a jumper at the other end.
Smith, who was making his 75th career start, made both ends of a one-and-one to increase the Wildcats' lead to 55-52 with 12.9 seconds left. Alston missed a three-pointer and Dion hit two free throws with two seconds left.
David Watkins, a 6-7 sophomore forward led the Wildcats with 15 points, shooting 5 of 7 from beyond the arc.
"We defended OK, but we didn't defend Watkins, who hurt us, he was terrific," Dunphy said.
The atmosphere didn't begin to approach the buzz created during Friday's win at the Liacouras Center.
"We have to provide our own electricity," Dunphy said. "We have to be ready to go each and every moment."
Dunphy had an optimistic report on the progress of point guard Josh Brown who is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery on May 25 and would like to play this year.
"He is doing well and soon the doctors will let him do live work and we will see how he feels out there," Dunphy said. "I think he is doing well on his rehab."