Temple's Randall stars in return

DAVID SWANSON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Scootie Randall , who missed last season due to injury, scored 31 points in Temple's season-opening win.
DAVID SWANSON / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Scootie Randall , who missed last season due to injury, scored 31 points in Temple's season-opening win.
Posted: November 14, 2012

KENT, Ohio - Scootie Randall is eager to make up for lost time.

The senior scored a career-high 31 points to lead Temple to an 80-66 victory over Kent State on Tuesday in his first game in 20 months.

Randall missed all last season with a left-knee injury when the Owls went 24-8 and to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive year under coach Fran Dunphy.

"This is my last year and I want to lead these guys," Randall said. "My teammates just found me with the ball and I thank them."

The long hours of rehab and recovery were worth it to the 6-6 swingman.

"I thought about it with every shot, every time up the court," Randall said. "I thought about all the things [teammates and coaches] said to keep me going."

Dunphy, ever the taskmaster, had only one criticism of Randall's game: his team-high five turnovers.

"We turned it over 19 times as a team and that's not really very good," Dunphy said. "I'll pick on him for the turnovers, but he was tough-minded and led us in a lot of ways.''

The Owls gave up 20 offensive rebounds, which helped the Golden Flashes come back from an early 15-point deficit and tie it at 46.

Randall hit consecutive three-pointers to make it 52-46 with 13:48 to play and Temple eventually led by 17.

"I was biting my tongue to call a timeout and shut up for once in my life," Dunphy said. "Scootie came down and hit the big three. He came through."

Then sophomore Anthony Lee helped the Owls extend the lead. Lee scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and had a team-high eight rebounds. He shot 6-for-8 from the field.

"Anthony made some great catches and finishes," Dunphy said.

Randall shot 10-for-19 and hit five three-pointers in 38 minutes. He also had four of Temple's 16 steals.

"He got going in transition early and we didn't do a good job defending him," Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said. "For them to shoot 53 percent as a team, that's way too high."

Kent State, 21-12 a year ago and coming off an exciting, 66-62, season-opening win against Drexel in overtime Friday night, was led by sophomore guard Kris Bremer's 19 points. Senior forward Chris Evans had 17 points and seven rebounds, but also eight turnovers.

Temple guard Khalif Wyatt had nine points in only 17 minutes.

"He tweaked a hamstring, so we spotted him on offense," said Dunphy, who hopes the senior will be good to go Saturday night in the Owls' home opener against Rice.

Randall hit three three-pointers and scored 13 points as the Owls opened a 30-15 lead. The tenacious Golden Flashes stayed in the game by outrebounding the Owls, 8-1, on the offensive boards in the first half to get within 40-32 at the break. Kent State held a 44-30 rebound advantage overall.

"We've got to rebound better," Dunphy said. "That's all five players, guards included."

Temple improved to 92-25 in season openers. The Owls have started each of the last 5 years with a win.

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