PHILADELPHIA -The Temple Owls and Drexel Dragons faced off in a City 6 showdown on Saturday. The Owls took care of business, 82-64 in what was head coach Fran Dunphy’s last game at the Palestra.
The game was deadlocked early on, without either team taking full control. Midway through the first half, the Owls were able to pull ahead, leading by seven 24-17 with just over eight minutes to go in the opening half.
Temple continued to pressure Drexel by driving the lane as well as hitting three pointers at the right time. The Owls had 22 points in the lane and four three pointers in the first half.
The Owls went into the half with all of the momentum, after sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis got a buzzer beater three pointer to end the half leading 41-30. Pierre-Louis led all scorers with 14 at the half. Senior Shizz Alston, Jr. had 13 points and junior Quinton Rose had eight.
Throughout the first half, turnovers were frequent for both teams. Drexel committed nine turnovers while Temple committed five. The difference being that the Owls capitalized on the turnovers, scoring a total of 13 points off of turnovers, compared to Drexel’s two points.
The second half started off with much of the same for Temple. Pierre-Louis continued to score with ease as he ended with a career high 22 points.
After the game, Pierre-Louis talked about his offensive contributions.
“My mindset was anything to help my team win,” said Pierre-Louis. “The opportunity was there, and I seized it.”
Alston also had a great performance and ended with 25 points, but the senior had bigger things in mind when it came to this game.
“We knew this was a good one for him [Dunphy], we wanted to get this win for him,” said Alston. “He’s a legendary coach and he deserves it.”
The Owls were able to maintain their lead, but the abundance of fouls that they committed made this one closer, at one point in the second half the Dragons only trailed by six, 60-54.
Drexel was kept alive by senior Troy Harper who ended the game with a total of 18 points.
With just eight minutes to play, the Owls led by nine points after a big Alston three-pointer.
Within the next four minutes, the Owls offense really came alive. Temple led by 18 points, 76-58, with three minutes left.
The Owls then coasted to an 82-64 win over Drexel.
Dunphy received a huge standing ovation from both fan bases prior to tipoff, as this was his last time coaching at the Palestra.
The Owls improve to 10-2 on the season and are now heading into conference play. Temple has their first AAC game after the New Year, against UCF on January 2, 2019.
Dunphy is proud of his guys for where they are currently, but is deciding to look ahead instead of recollect on their stellar record.
“We feel good about where we are, but we have a long way to go,” said Dunphy. “We have 18 really difficult games coming up...we need to play better as we move forward.”
Alston led the Owls on the floor with 25 points, Pierre-Louis added 22 and Rose ended the game with 14 points, reaching his 1,000 point milestone as a Temple Owl.
As for Drexel, the Dragons drop to 6-7 after the loss. The team will travel to take on Northeastern on December 28 which will be the Dragon’s first conference game.
Harper led the Dragons with 18 points, Camren Wynter scored 12 points and Alihan Demir tallied 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.