While Bond has quietly put up solid numbers for the Owls this season, he made quite a bit of noise on Sunday.
Bond would notch a career-high 21 points in against Central Florida, adding 14 rebounds, to lead four Temple scorers in double figures and help power the Owls to an 84-78 victory.
Bond would make his presence felt from the outset against UCF, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the first 9:21 of play to give the Owls a 19-17 lead over the Knights.
As the first half wore on, the remainder of the Temple lineup would begin to find the basket more frequently, allowing the Owls to close the half on a 16-4 run to and head to the locker room up 38-26.
Bond and his rebounding would prove crucial to a strong first half from Temple, as he grabbed nine first half boards, including three on the offensive glass to boost the Owls to a 29-18 advantage in first half rebounding and an 8-0 advantage on second chance points.
While the Owls closed the first half on a dominant run, the Knights were not ready to call it quits just yet, scoring the first seven points in the second half to pull within 38-33.
Temple would respond with an 11-2 run of its own, however, giving the Owls their largest lead of the game at 49-35.
The Owls would continue to keep the Knights an arms length away throughout the second half, eventually winning by a score of 84-78 to improve to 11-4 overall and 2-0 in conference play this season.
“Other than the first couple minutes of the second half and then down the stretch where they made a lot of threes, I thought our defense was pretty good,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said.
Bond would lead the way for Temple in the victory, scoring a career-high 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season and second in the last three games.
“He’s (Bond) an extraordinary rebounder at both ends. He’s got that knack for where the ball is coming off the rim. He’s got quickness. He’s got great strength.” Dunphy said. “He also lends to your program the ability to guard anybody. He can guard perimeter guys and he can guard post guys, so that’s a nice attribute to have.”
“I’m just trying to get more comfortable within the offense. I’m just trying to be aggressive on both ends of the court, offensively and defensively,” Bond said. “So, I feel like I’m playing towards my strengths right now, getting easy points and rebounds.”
Bond would not be the only major contributor for the Owls on the afternoon, however, as Will Cummings added 21 points of his own in the win.
Temple continues to roll with since receiving reinforcements Jesse Morgan and Devin Coleman. The Owls are now 5-0 since both players became eligible, and continue to show signs of improvement with each game.
“We’re still feeling each other out. Like you see, a different guy steps up each game, so that’s what we kind of rely on,” Cummings said. “Other teams can’t really focus on one guy, two guys, they have to focus on the whole team.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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