NEW ORLEANS – In a game that featured 10 ties and nine lead changes, the Tulane men’s basketball team split a regular season American Athletic Conference series with Temple as a result of an 83-76 loss Sunday afternoon at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.
— Tulane Basketball (@GreenWaveMBB) February 4, 2018
Jordan Cornish led four Tulane (13-9, 4-6 AAC) players in double figures with a season-high 20 points and three 3-pointers made, while Samir Sehic compiled a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Cameron Reynolds also posted a double-double – his third of the season – with 16 points, 10 boards and five assists, while Ray Ona Embo added 12 points, seven rebounds and four helpers.
Nate Pierre Louis scored 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting off the bench, while Shizz Alston, Jr., posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists for Temple (13-10, 5-6 AAC). Quinton Rose added 10 points and Ernest Aflakpui grabbed 10 rebounds.
Tulane made four of its first five shots from the field to create an early 13-10 lead at the 15:16 mark, but Temple made just three of its first six attempts, a pair of those were 3-pointers to keep the margin close. The Green Wave’s early advantage came as part of an 8-0 scoring run that ended on a pair of free throws by the Owls with 12:56 to go and the Wave ahead, 17-12.
Those two free throws ignited a 13-0 run that allowed Temple to reclaim the lead, but was ended with a 3-pointer by Cornish with 9:47 left to cut the deficit to just three, 23-20. Trailing 30-26 at the media timeout, Tulane continued its streak of five-straight field goals made as part of a 6-0 run to take back the lead, 32-30 on back-to-back layups by Sehic with 6:30 remaining. Sehic made another layup, as the Green Wave made six of eight shots, while holding the Owls to a stretch of just two makes on 11 attempts as the game was tied at 34 with 3:29 to go in the period.
The tie was part of seven straight points by the Wave that ended with a Colin Slater tip-in to make it 39-34 with 2:35 left, but the Owls fired back and tied the game at 42 on a 3-pointer by Obi Enechionyia as the game reached halftime.
Tulane shot 17-for-36 (.472), 1-for-9 (.111) from 3-point range and 7-for-9 (.778) at the free throw line in the first half, while Temple went 16-for-37 (.432) on the floor, 7-for-17 (.412) from outside and made all three free throw attempts. Despite the wide margin from beyond the arc, the Green Wave outscored the Owls, 28-14, in the paint.
Temple outscored the Green Wave, 10-3, to start the second half and take a 52-45 advantage with 16:54 to go, but a three-point play by Cornish at the 13:17 mark capped a rally to cut the deficit to just one, 55-54.
Despite the Owls pushing their lead back to six, 65-59, Tulane ripped off another 7-0 run that ended with a 3-pointer by Cornish to retake the lead, 66-65, with 8:27 left. The Green Wave would not surrender the advantage for over four minutes, until an Aflakpui layup put Temple back in front, 73-72.
The Owls would not surrender the lead for the remainder of the game and held on for the seven-point victory.