Owls prevail over Minutemen

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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Brian Tedder/Collegian

In a game with 20 lead changes and 10 ties, it was only fitting that 40 minutes of basketball settled nothing.

The back-and-forth between Temple and the Massachusetts men’s basketball team ended once the overtime period began, as the Owls outscored the Minutemen by 10 points, winning a key Atlantic 10 matchup, 80-70, Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

With the victory, the Owls (12-10, 5-3 A-10) continued their dominance over the Minutemen (15-8, 4-5 A-10) at the Liacouras Center, where they’ve won all but one of 11 all-time meetings.

“It has nothing to do with the past,” UMass coach Travis Ford said after the game. “It is disappointing that we didn’t come out with the win. This is a very tough place to play, but when players don’t make plays, it’s hard to win.”

The Minutemen now stand in a four-way tie for eighth in the conference, along with Dayton, La Salle and Saint Louis.

Both teams had four players score in double figures, with UMass’s Etienne Brower leading all scorers with 21 points. Conference-leading scorer Gary Forbes added 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Minutemen, but it was the 20 points from both Lavoy Allen and Mark Tyndale – along with a combined 14-of-14 from the foul line – that was the difference.

Temple’s Dionte Christmas – the second-leading scorer in the A-10 – scored 16 points but struggled from the field, hitting 5-of-16 shots including 2-of-10 from the perimeter.

After a low scoring and relatively uneventful first half (Temple led 29-27), both teams came out running in the second half – constantly trading baskets in a highly-contested game. In a span of just over three minutes, late in the second half, the lead-changed eight times and was tied another.

UMass had a three-point lead at 64-61 with under two minutes remaining after a Forbes 3-pointer, but Temple quickly tied the game with a matching outside shot by Chris Clark.

Temple had a chance to end things in regulation after Brower missed a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left, calling a timeout with 24.7 seconds remaining in a 64-64 tie. The Owls had two looks at the basket but Tyndale’s lay-up attempt didn’t fall and Brower blocked away Clark’s jump shot as time ran out.

Temple wasted little time in the extra period, gaining possession on the tip and converting two free throws after a Brower shooting foul. Brower hit a jumper to tie the game at 66 and tied things again with a lay-up after a basket by Christmas.

A 3-pointer by Ryan Brooks gave the Owls a three-point edge, a lead they would never relinquish. The Minutemen struggled from the floor in the overtime, missing all four 3-point attempts and finishing 2-of-11 from the field.

“Everyone wants to get the ball to Gary Forbes,” Ford said. “I was disappointed in our shot selection. We got shots off, but the shots just didn’t go in. We needed to try to go ahead and score. [Temple] just made plays when it counted.”

Temple scored 11 of its 16 points in the extra session from the free-throw line, scoring more points there in five minutes than UMass did all game (8-of-14).

Ford pointed to that differential after the game as one of the reasons for the loss.

“Gary Forbes needs to be physical. He didn’t go to the foul line, and their [small forward], Mark Tyndale, went 10-for-10 from the foul line,” he said.

Ricky Harris was the only UMass player that made multiple free throws (4-for-4), but his shooting struggles from the perimeter continued. Harris finished 2-of-10 from beyond the arc and 4-of-13 overall. The sophomore guard scored 14 points, marking the fourth time in the last five games he scored below his season average of 18.8 points per game.

Game notes

Forbes committed six turnovers in the game, the same total the Owls had