Temple celebrates Hooter’s birthday with 76-70 win over Rhode Island

Courtesy of OwlSports.com

PHILADELPHIA— Temple celebrated Hooter The Owl’s birthday by posting a 76-70 win over Rhode Island Saturday at The Liacouras Center. For the second straight game, four Owls reached double figures including senior Khalif Wyatt, who led the way with 24 points.  Sophomore Will Cummings contributed with a career-high 15 points on an effective 6-of-7 shooting day.

Graduate student Jake O’Brien, who started in place of an injured Anthony Lee (hip pointer), registered his first double-double as an Owl, scoring 16 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and a tying his season-high with three blocks.

Senior Scootie Randall recorded his sixth straight double-figure scoring game, tallying 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds

Senior Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson has a game-high 13 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end.  It marked the fourth time in the last five games that the Chester, Pa. native has pulled down double-digit caroms.

URI junior Xavier Mumford, who came into the game trailing only Wyatt among Atlantic 10 scorers, went 12-of-23 from the field to lead all scorers with 30 points.

Mumford scored 19 of his points in the first half, helping the Rams (8-19, 3-11) lead for all but two minutes of the stanza.  Rhode Island made seven of 12 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes, with Mumford connecting on four of six.

Trailing 37-36 at the break, the Owls used an 18-2 run early in the second half to take its largest lead, 62-51, with 10:31 to play.  Wyatt and Randall each scored five points in the stretch.
The Rams refused to fold, however, and scored 13 of the next 15 points to tie the game at 64 with just under six minutes remaining.

Wyatt then scored four points in a 6-2 mini-run to make it 70-66.  After URI cut it to one (71-70) on a pair of Andre Malone (18 points) free throws, O’Brien had his biggest rebound, a tip-in off a Hollis-Jefferson miss, to make it 73-70 with 2:02 to play.

Wyatt (2-2) and Cummings (1-2) made three of four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

With their fifth straight win, the Owls improve to 21-8 on the season and boost their Atlantic 10 Conference record to 9-5. Temple next travels to the Bronx for Wednesday’s 7:00 p.m. tipoff against the Fordham Rams (1210 AM WPHT).

With their fifth straight win, the Owls improve to 21-8 on the season and boost their Atlantic 10 Conference record to 9-5. Temple next travels to the Bronx for Wednesday’s 7:00 p.m. tipoff against the Fordham Rams (1210 AM WPHT).

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