Although Temple and East Carolina are on the outside looking in on the AAC regular season title race, their college basketball matchup did help separate some teams out in the AAC standings. As always, the matchup told us a lot about both teams. While neither is very likely to get an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, every win goes a long way. Anything can happen in conference tournaments which makes seeding that much more important.
With a 71-63 win, Temple basketball showed that they are well deserving of being in the top half of the AAC. Although the Owls are still just 5-3 in conference play, they have shown the ability to win on the road and keep every game close. For East Carolina, they’ll go back to the drawing board as they have lost five straight.
Temple Move to 4th in AAC With Win Over East Carolina
Pirates Cold From Deep
East Carolina isn’t known for their three-point shooting this season. They do shoot it at a respectable clip of 34.7%, however. In a game against Temple where they needed those deep shots to fall, they simply couldn’t buy them. Wednesday night’s game was once again an example of how East Carolina lives and dies with the three-ball. Hitting just five of 23 attempts for a measly 21.7% was a large reason why the Pirates lost this game.
Vance Jackson is East Carolina’s best three-point shooter this season and shot a respectable three for eight against Temple. Unfortunately, the next three best shooters combined to make just one of seven. When East Carolina is hot, they are a tough out. This performance showed just how volatile this East Carolina offense is on a nightly basis.
Temple Basketball Struggles at the Stripe
Games are won and lost at the free throw line. Luckily for Temple, East Carolina’s poor shooting let them off the hook. Temple got to the line 32 times on Wednesday night but was able to convert on just 21 of those opportunities which was good for 65.6%. Unfortunately for Temple, the problem is much more than just an off night.
Guard Damian Dunn led the Owls with 26 points in large part to shooting 13/15 from the charity stripe. Outside of him, Temple seemed to have a lid on the rim whenever they were at the line. The rest of the team went just eight for 17. Temple is by no means a great free throw shooting team, but with four players shooting over 77% from the line on the season, it will be important to keep tabs on this bunch to see if free throw shooting continues to be a problem as the season progresses.