Temple has done what was expected with four home games to begin the season. Now things will get more difficult away from the Liacouras Center, but at least the Owls will have some early-season momentum.
Temple easily took care of business with Friday's 81-67 win over Loyola of Maryland (1-3). The Owls scored the game's first 16 points, saw the lead shrink to six, but were up 45-33 at halftime and weren't seriously threatened in the second half.
Temple, which should be among several American Athletic Conference teams to compete for an NCAA berth, has started a season 4-0 for the first time since winning its first six games in 2012-13. That season, the Owls went 24-10 and made the NCAA tournament.
The Owls will now compete in the two-day Legends Classic at the Barclays Center, facing VCU (3-0) on Monday, followed by St. John's or Cal on Tuesday.
"You like the fact that we are winning, but it is four home games and now we go on the road for a stretch and play two games in New York," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
Temple received 50 points from its three leading scorers with 18 from Shizz Alston and 16 each from Quinton Rose and Nate Pierre-Louis. Rose, a 6-8 junior, also added a career-high six assists.
Temple center Ernest Aflakpui, who entered the game averaging 6.0 points, scored 10, hitting all five of his field goal attempts.
The key to this game was turnovers. Temple forced 22 while committing eight.
"I think our defense was solid, we are turning teams over," Dunphy said.
The statistics bear this out.
The Owls are now forcing 18 turnovers per game, while committing 12.8.
Rose feels the Owls can be a team that wins the turnover battle frequently.
"We can definitely keep this up, but we have to keep the intensity up on defense," he said.
Loyola (1-3), which competes in the Patriot League, received a team-high 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench from 6-foot-7 sophomore Brent Holcombe, 14 points from 6-4 junior Andrew Kostecka. and 10 from Chuck Champion, a 6-4 junior from Friends' Central.
One area Temple will need to improve is three-point shooting. Against Loyola, the Owls shot 6-for-22 (27.3 percent). For the season, the Owls are 28-for-85 (32.9 percent).
"We were 6-for-22 tonight and it is something we have to work on," Alston said.
Alston is one of the players who has started out strong from beyond the arc. He hit four of seven against Loyola and is now 15-for-31 (48.4 percent). He also has hit all 17 free throws this season.