By Jack Ryan
Temple took care of business last night at the Liacouris Center as they beat Memphis and wrapped up the top seed in next week’s American Athletic Conference tourney.
Led by forward Jaylen Bond’s 15 points, five Temple players scored in double figures as the Owls, (19-10, 13-4 in the AAC), scored a 72-62 Senior Night victory over Memphis on Thursday.
“We’re thrilled with five guys in double figures,” Owls coach Fran Dunphy said. “That’s pretty good offensive efficiency. … Any time you can be well-balanced, it’s terrific.”
Senior Bond was Temple’s main man with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season while going up against 6-foot-9 Memphis star Shaq Goodwin.
But, for the second time this season, Bond had Goodwin’s number. He put up 14 points and 14 boards in a 69-67 loss in Memphis on Jan. 16.
“He’s a great player and a big, physical presence down low,” Bond said of his Memphis counterpart. “I just tried to attack him the best I could. … I was just playing with more confidence. This being my last game at the Liacouras Center, it added something toward my play.
“Coming out with a double-double on this special night, it’s great for me and for my family, who was out here to watch me.”
“He took the challenge and did a terrific job,” Dunphy said of the way Bond played Thursday. “He set the tone.”
Temple led by nine at the half and pushed the lead to 13 with 13:42 left in regulation. But, in typical Temple fashion this season, nothing came easy.