By Annie Ross
Nate Pierre-Louis had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Temple held off La Salle 75-67.
Quinton Rose scored 15 to pace Temple, while Shizz Alston Jr. added 13 points and eight assists. Ernest Aflakpui had 10 points and eight boards as the Owls outrebounded the Explorers 50-28 and spoiled the debut of first-year La Salle coach Ashley Howard.
Isiah Deas hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points for La Salle. Pookie Powell added 14 points and Traci Carter and Miles Brookins both scored 10.
Temple led 31-30 when Pierre-Louis broke loose for a dunk that keyed an 8-2 spurt and the Owls led the rest of the way. Alston Jr.’s 3-pointer stretched the lead to double figures midway through the second half.
Both teams struggled on offense with Temple connecting on 22 of 57 shots from the floor (39 percent), while the Explorers made 22 of 62 shots (35.5 percent). The Owls hit 26 of 36 free throws, while La Salle sank 15 of 18.