A breakout night on offense for Mark Williams would come at the perfect time for the Temple Owls. With Williams feeling it on the offensive end Tuesday night, the Owls were able to create a bit more space than they have in recent games, allowing Will Cummings and others to drive into the paint.
Williams would more than double his previous career high of 11 points, as the sophomore forward finished with 24 points in the Owls’ 76-67 win over Penn.
“Coming into the game they were shooting 21 percent from three,” said Penn Coach Jerome Allen. “So you know the law of averages would say pack the paint. Keep Cummings out of the paint. Keep DeCosey out of the paint and make them shoot contested shots. To his [Williams’] credit, he stepped up and made some big ones for them.”
Williams would get his night started with a three to put Temple up 12-2 4:29 into the game. He would not slow down from there, scoring 13 points in the first half to send the Owls to the break with a 44-37 lead.
“It helps a lot when you’re looking to pass. We’ve had stretch forwards…and its his turn to be that guy. It helps a lot with the pick and roll,” Will Cummings said.
The Owls would come out strong to start the second half, stretching their lead to as much as 11, but the Quakers had no intentions of going away.
Penn would continue to be a thorn in the Owls’ side, narrowing the Temple lead to just 60-59 after hitting a pair of free throws midway through the second half.
Williams would continue to come up clutch for Temple, however, scoring six points over the final five minutes to help boost the Owls to a 76-67 win over Penn, their eighth straight victory against the Quakers.
“We kind of know now that teams are going to pack the paint. I think every team has done it so far. Just having Mark have a big game like he did, now they have to stay honest,” Cummings said. “It gives us an extra aspect on the court, just another threat to score the basketball and stretch people out.”
Williams would finish with a new career-high 24 points to go along with five rebounds, but in the end, the only thing the sophomore was concerned about was that his team emerged victorious.
“It was good, but ultimately the goal was to win. We won, so that’s all that matters to me,” Williams said.
By: Kyle Babcock
Follow us on Twitter: @BroadStBeat