Behind eight points and eight rebounds from Bond early, the Owls would jump out to a 16-5 lead midway through the first half.
The Hornets would threaten a bit in the second half, but with the help of improved shooting from beyond the arc, Temple was able to hang on for a 66-56 win.
“We knew it was going to be a long game,” Bond said. “We just had to stay with it.”
While the Owls would stumble out of the gate shooting, Delaware State would find themselves struggling even more, as Temple built a lead as large as 14 in the first half before heading to the break with a 31-21 lead.
Temple would shoot just 30.2 percent from the field in the half, but would take advantage of second chances, as Bond pulled down 11 first half rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.
The Hornets were not ready to go away yet, however, as they opened the second half on a 9-3 run pull within just four, cutting the Owls’ lead to 34-30.
With the Hornets suddenly swarming the Owls, it would be Jesse Morgan who would help Temple fight off Delaware State, sinking four straight from beyond the arc to put the Owls up 46-35.
“We’ve got to get stops,” Morgan said. “It starts on the defensive end. Will [Cummings] was stressing that. Coach was stressing that. Defense gets us going. My first shot went down and I was locked in after that.”
Temple would maintain control from there, shooting 8-for-16 from beyond the arc in the second half, including a perfect 5-for-5 by Morgan from deep, as they topped Delaware State 66-56 to close out their nonconference schedule.
Morgan would finish with a team-high 15 points for the Owls, while Bond would notch a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds, tying the Liacouras Center record for most rebounds in a game.
“I was just trying to be aggressive, crashing the glass on the offensive and defensive end,” Bond said.
The Owls, now 9-4, will kick off conference play on New Year’s Eve, when they face Connecticut.
“We just need to play better,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said. “We do have the start of our league season coming up, at the defending national champions, so we have our hands full.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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