Temple falls to Clemson

Temple's Devontae Watson battles for the ball with Clemson's Landry Nnoko. Clemson beat the Owls, 72-58, in the first round of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. MIC SMITH / Associated Press
Temple's Devontae Watson battles for the ball with Clemson's Landry Nnoko. Clemson beat the Owls, 72-58, in the first round of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina. MIC SMITH / Associated Press
Posted: November 23, 2013

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Clemson's top scorer, K.J. McDaniels, got going in the second half and proved too much for Temple in a 72-58 win over the Owls at TD Arena in the first round of the Charleston Classic Thursday night.

Daniels finished with 20 points and eight rebounds as Clemson improved to 4-0.

The Owls (1-3) will face Georgia at 7 p.m. Friday in the consolation bracket. Nemanja Djurisic had 19 points for the Bulldogs (1-2) in a 94-82 loss to Davidson (1-3).

The Owls backcourt of junior Will Cummings and sophomore Quenton DeCosey proved difficult for the Tigers to handle in the first half, when the two guards combined for 20 first-half points. Cummings finished the game with 22 points and DeCosey had 15.

"We played all right to start, but then Temple smashed us," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said of the first half.

The start of the game was delayed more than an hour because of New Mexico's double-overtime victory over UAB earlier in the day, and both teams seemed sluggish from the unexpected delay. With 8 minutes, 37 seconds to play in the half, the score was knotted at 18.

"On the last few possessions of the first half, we missed some [important] free throws," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, who believes his Owls need to put more emphasis on closing out halves.

About three minutes into the second half, McDaniels drove the right baseline and finished with a strong two-handed dunk, putting the Tigers up by one. Dunphy called a timeout, but the damage was done.

Cummings responded with back-to-back threes, and a wink to McDaniels. But on the next possession, the Clemson junior took to the air with another powerful dunk.

Temple continued to fight, but struggled to make shots in the second half (24.2 percent) as it did in the first (36.7 percent).

In the final five minutes, Clemson clamped down on DeCosey and Cummings.

"We struggled a bit when Clemson picked up their defense on DeCosey," Dunphy said.

With less than two minutes left, Jordan Roper hit a corner three for Clemson as the shot clock expired, putting the Tigers up by double digits.

"At this point, we are good enough to be in position to win, but not good enough to finish games," Dunphy said.

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