Memphis hands Temple fourth straight loss

Temple's Dalton Pepper gets off a shot over Memphis' Shaq Goodwin and Michael Dixon. Pepper led the Owls with 24 points.
Temple's Dalton Pepper gets off a shot over Memphis' Shaq Goodwin and Michael Dixon. Pepper led the Owls with 24 points. (H. RUMPH JR. / Associated Press)
Posted: January 13, 2014

Desperate for some positive news, as well as a significant win, Temple's day got off to a good start when Will Cummings, the Owls' floor leader and second-leading scorer, was given medical clearance to play against No. 24 Memphis Saturday at the Liacouras Center.

And for much of the quick-paced game, it appeared Temple might get the kind of feel-good victory that could help turn around a difficult season.

But Memphis had Shaq Goodwin, a bouncy, 6-foot-9 sophomore, and the Owls had no one in the post who could handle him. Goodwin's 23 points and 11 rebounds were the difference, and Memphis held on for a 79-69 win in an American Athletic Conference game to leave Temple (5-9, 0-4) with its fourth straight loss.

The Tigers (12-3, 3-1), who knocked off defending national champ Louisville Thursday, have won 15 consecutive conference games on the road.

Not long before tipoff, Cummings, a 6-2 junior, got the go-ahead to play. He missed the second half of Thursday's 82-75 loss to South Florida with concussion-like symptoms. His return and the availability of freshman Mark Williams gave Temple eight scholarship players. Daniel Dingle, a 6-7 sophomore averaging 13.6 points a game, had arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus and may be lost for the season.

Cummings' return was welcome, but the guard was not quite himself even though he scored 11 points. He played 29 minutes and had all four of his turnovers in the second half. "Not good," he said when asked to assess his performance.

But this game was decided in the post. Goodwin had eight offensive rebounds, and he was the main reason Memphis outscored the Owls on second-chance points, 17-0. Temple's 6-9 Anthony Lee could only respond with nine points.

"Offensive rebounds by the opposition hurt us," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "Goodwin is a tough matchup. He's very aggressive."

The Owls had a 48-44 lead early in the second half when they became a little careless with the ball. Memphis drained three consecutive three-pointers over a zone defense and eventually went on to build a 63-53 lead.

"We just didn't get out quick enough on two of the [three-pointers]," Dunphy said. "That hurt us. We just wanted to change the look, and obviously it didn't work."

Dalton Pepper led Temple with 24 points, tying a career high, and Quenton DeCosey added 18.

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