By Michael Donovan
Today’s Temple-Penn match-up at Liacouris on North Broad may be the best game to watch this weekend.
Including tomorrow’s AFC and NFC title games.
And it may be the best Big 5 game of the year.
Temple is 14-3 and shooting aiming for its fifth straight win and last Saturday’s loss to Princeton marked the fourth consecutive loss for the Quakers, who have fallen to 0-2 in conference play and 10-6 overall.
Meanwhile, the Owls are coming off wins over East Carolina, South Florida, Houston and Wichita.
The Quakers had every opportunity to knock off Princeton during last Saturday’s home game, but they still managed to let a fourth consecutive game slip through their fingers. Princeton shot the ball terribly throughout the game, finishing with a 32.3 percentage from the floor and 18.8 percent from 3-pointer.
While Temple struggled shooting as well, they actually finished the game with a higher shooting percentage in both categories, and it still wasn’t enough to get the job done. Free throw shooting was the killer in the game.
The Tigers generated 19 fouls and went 19-of-21 from the line, while the Quakers only finished 7-of-13. Those 19 extra points ultimately helped Princeton pull away in the end, 62-53. Junior forward AJ Brodeur led the Quakers in scoring with 16 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and five blocks.
It was raining 3-pointers for Shizz Alston Jr. on Wednesday night, when the Owls knocked off East Carolina on the road. The senior guard knocked down 7-of-10 3-point attempts and finished with a team-high 23 points, along with four assists and three steals. It was the standout performance the Owls desperately needed on a night when East Carolina’s Jayden Gardner dropped 27 points.
The Owls shot 49.1 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from 3-pointer. They also did a tremendous job of being aggressive and going after the defense, prompting a total of 18 fouls for the evening.
Junior guard Quinton Rose contributed 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals to the Owls’ 85-74 victory. Nate Pierre-Louis netted 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, while center Ernest Aflakpui dropped 12 points and 12 rebounds.