KINGSTON – Losing whatever momentum they might have had from a two-game win streak, the University of Rhode Island men’s basketball team was never really in the game after the first half, suffering a 73-56 drubbing at the hands of the Temple Owls.
According to the box score, the Rams (5-19, 2-7 Atlantic 10) got within eight and nine points at two points in the second half. However, the Owls (17-5, 6-2 Atlantic 10) immediately responded with buckets.
In contrast, URI was ice cold from the field in the second half. URI shot 28 percent from the floor, and while they got to the line 12 times, they missed five shots.
The Rams stayed in the game in the first half thanks to the shooting of Jonathan Holton. The freshman had 13 points in the first, but only two shots in the second, which he missed.
Temple head coach Fran Dunphy, who recruited Holton out of high school, said they switched up tactics to limit his opportunities. Holton confirmed that the Owls were his second choice following graduation.
“They’re one of the best teams in the conference, and we came out sluggish and they came out ready,” Holton said, referring to the 8-0 run by Temple to start the game.
When asked about the lack of shooting in the second half, Holton said it was a combination of the Temple defense and trying to get other players involved.
“We tried to get everyone else involved and tried to get others going,” he said. “I think you’re going to be good down the road.”
Orion Outerbridge, coming off a career game against UMass, couldn’t capitalize on open looks against Temple, finishing 2-for-11 and with just seven points.
Temple’s Aaron Brown came off the bench to score 15 efficient points for the Owls, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. While Temple only shot 9-for-25 from the 3-point line, pretty much every look was open, as the Rams continued to struggle to effectively close out on long jumpers.
Ramone Moore led Temple with 22 points, although it took him 20 shots to get it. Khalif Wyatt had 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting.
The Rams will attempt to start a new win streak 7 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier (15-8, 6-3 Atlantic 10). Saturday’s attendance was 5,606.
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