By Sam Bush
Temple took it on the chin, losing its first game of the season last night in Brooklyn.
But there was no shame in losing to No. 4-ranked Duke which pulled away in the second half for a 74-54 victory. With the win, the Blue Devils advance to the final of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, where they’ll meet Stanford on Saturday night.
Duke (4-0) got solid contributions from its trio of talented freshmen, but it was a member of the old guard who hit the big shots when his team needed them most.
Quinn Cook led the Blue Devils with 17 points—including nine from behind the arc—and five boards.
Jahlil Okafor (photo above) continued his string of double-digit performances with 16 points and eight boards, and Justise Winslow joined him with 15 points of his own.
Tyus Jones added five points, five rebounds and seven assists, to cap another solid night for the freshman trio.
Temple (2-1) gave Duke it’s best shot, trailing by just 10 at the half, largely through hustle and hard work.
The Owls were able to hang in on the defensive end, forcing Duke into many bad looks in the first half, but they just couldn’t compete for the full 40 minutes, fading late.
Talent won out over effort in the second half, and the Owls will have to settle for Saturday’s consolation game against UNLV.
Will Cummings led Temple with 18 points in a losing effort.