Tue, 09 Mar 2021

Temple, Tulane hoping matchup gets them in a groove

Field Level Media
16 Jan 2021, 10:55 GMT+10

Interrupted schedules have denied Temple and Tulane from getting into much of a groove across the past month.

But they're trying to find rhythm, and their next chance comes Saturday afternoon when Temple meets host Tulane in New Orleans.

This newest matchup was added to the American Athletic Conference schedule after Saturday's would-be clash sending Temple to East Carolina was called off because of East Carolina's COVID-19 issues.

The Owls and Green Wave had been slated to meet Jan. 6, so this serves as a make-up game.

Temple (2-3, 1-3 AAC) needs more court time on a consistent basis.

"We're not close to where I think we can be," Temple coach Aaron McKie said.

The Owls snapped a three-game losing streak with Thursday's 62-55 home victory against Central Florida. Damian Dunn scored 20 points in that game.

Tulane (6-3, 1-3) will play for the first time in a week and for just the third time in 2021. The Green Wave lost 71-50 last Saturday at then-No. 11 Houston.

Tulane coach Ron Hunter said it's important for his team to show mental toughness.

That's something that Temple displayed at times down the stretch in order to defeat UCF.

"For the most part in the second halves running up to this game (vs. Central Florida), we've just been running out of gas," McKie said. "We have to work off of this game where this has to be the standard."

Temple's J.P. Moorman had just five points, but pulled in 13 rebounds Thursday. Eight of his 15 made field goals this season have come from 3-point range.

"J.P. has got to make shots for us," McKie said.

Tulane scoring leader Jaylen Forbes, who averages 15.3 points per game, has posted double-figure points totals in eight games. He was battling a leg injury in the Houston game.

"We're struggling offensively anyway right now, so that makes it even harder," Hunter said of court time Forbes missed. "We've got to have Forbes out on the floor."

Tulane has gone three consecutive games without scoring more than 60 points. The Green Wave shot 28.8 percent from the field at Houston.

Temple's only other victory came in the season opener Dec. 19 vs. NJIT. Since also winning on that date, Tulane owns just one triumph in three games since then.

Last February, Temple overcame a second-half deficit to win 72-68 at Tulane.

--Field Level Media

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