Cold-shooting Owls beaten by UConn

Temple's Will Cummings shoots over UConn's Amida Brimah in Thursday night's American Athletic Conference game at the Liacouras Center. The Owls trailed, 54-42, late in the second half of a game that ended too late for this edition.
Temple's Will Cummings shoots over UConn's Amida Brimah in Thursday night's American Athletic Conference game at the Liacouras Center. The Owls trailed, 54-42, late in the second half of a game that ended too late for this edition. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 22, 2014

Temple showed great improvement from its earlier meeting with Connecticut, but a poor offensive night contributed to the same outcome.

  The Owls shot just 19 for 56 (33.9 percent) from the field and committed 16 turnovers during a 68-55 loss to the No. 21 Huskies in an American Athletic Conference matchup Thursday night at the Liacouras Center.

  Coming off Sunday's 71-64 win over then-No. 23 SMU, Temple fell to 7-18, 2-11, while the Huskies are 21-5, 9-4.

  On Jan. 21, Temple lost at UConn, 90-66, but this time the Huskies had to work much harder on offense and shot 2 for 13 from beyond the arc.

"We had a couple of opportunities, wide-open jump shots that just didn't go, and to win a game against this quality of opponent, you have to make shots, and we didn't do that," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.

 Temple's Will Cummings hit a three-pointer to cut UConn's lead to 40-35 with 15 minutes, 40 seconds left. That was the closest the Owls would get in the second half.

 Temple trailed by as many as 14 later in the half, but the Owls got to within 57-50 on Anthony Lee's three-point play with 2:08 remaining before the Huskies pulled away.

 Temple guard Quenton DeCosey had 16 points and a career-high eight rebounds.

UConn, coached by former 76er Kevin Ollie, had four players score in double figures, led by guard Shabazz Napier with 17.

"We were just missing shots for a stretch out there," DeCosey said. "We've got to keep looking at the next possession, the next play, and not get down when we miss a shot and keep trying to play solid defense."

 Temple guard Dalton Pepper, who entered the game averaging a team-high 17.3 points, scored 11 points on 4-for-18 shooting.

UConn's chief threat, Napier, shot 3 for 11.

Temple welcomed back the 6-9 Lee, who missed the win over SMU with a minor left-knee injury. Lee, who had started the previous 23 games, finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

  Temple is in the middle of playing five straight games against teams in the Top 25 for the first time in program history.

The Owls will visit No. 22 Memphis on Saturday before playing at 11th-ranked Louisville on Thursday. The string began with an 82-58 loss to Louisville last Friday.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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