Wednesday night’s matchup between Temple and Penn at the Palestra would fit right into that reputation.
Despite the Owls building a lead as large as 12, the Quakers would refuse to stay down, making it a one-possession game in the final 30 seconds of play. The two teams would trade blows over the final 30 seconds of play, with Temple hanging on for a 77-73 win, but not without a fight from Penn.
“They’re a great team and like all Big 5 games it was a tough matchup for us,” said Temple senior Jaylen Bond. “So you knew they weren’t going to go away and we had to be smart and stay within the team concept to come out with a win.”
The Owls would come out of the locker room looking strong, as they stretched their lead to as large 12. But the Quakers were not quite ready to go away just yet.
With one minute remaining in the game, Antonio Woods would knock down a three to pull the Quakers within 70-62. Jackson Donahue would hit a three of his own just 10 seconds later and suddenly Temple’s 11-point lead was down to just five.
Penn would continue to apply the pressure, and with just 29 seconds remaining would cut Temple’s lead to just 70-67 on a tip-in by Darien Nelson-Henry. With time running out, the Quakers would be forced to put Temple on the line in order to make up the remaining deficit.
A pair of free throws by Quenton DeCosey would stretch the Temple lead back to five, but Woods would quickly respond with a jumper to pull Penn back within one score.
Levan Alston, Jr. would then be sent to the line for Temple, making one of two free throws to put the Owls up four. Woods would again have an answer, knocking down another jumper to put Penn down just 73-71 with eight seconds left.
Penn would again put Temple on the charity stripe, this time sending Josh Brown to the line. Brown would make both free throws.
But there was Woods. The sophomore guard would drive the lane for a layup to yet again pull the Quakers within two with just three seconds remaining.
Time would finally run out for the Quakers, however, as Brown sunk two more free throws for the Owls to ice the game and give Temple a 77-73 win.
“We had a little bit of separation, but you knew they were going to make a run,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said. “They made some tough threes. They had some other open ones that we can’t afford to give them, but they made some tough threes.”
DeCosey would lead the way for the Owls in the win, scoring 22 points and grabbing six rebounds just one game after being held to three points in Temple’s loss to Wisconsin.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive,” DeCosey said. “I was ready for this Big 5 matchup. I just wanted to come out aggressive and that’s what I did.”
DeCosey would be joined by three other Owls in double-figure scoring, as Bond scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Brown scored 10, dished out a career-high nine assists and pulled in six rebounds and Obi Enechionyia added 11 points.
Penn would be led in the loss by Woods, who scored 22 points and amassed seven assists. Nelson-Henry would add a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Donahue would score 12 points, but it would not be enough for the Quakers in their Big 5 defeat at the hands of Temple.
By: Kyle Babcock
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