Who would have thought that after Temple was left out of the NCAA Tournament last Sunday that they would be the last team standing from Philly?
But with Villanova eliminated, the Owls, an NIT No. 1 seed, are three victories away from raising a banner in the Liacouras Center.
Their second-round matchup Sunday morning pitted Temple and its former A-10 foe George Washington and the Owls made sure to make a statement, posting 90 points for the first time all season in a 90-77 win.
Will Cummings, once again, led Temple in scoring with 21 points (8-for-8 from the free throw line). This just a few days after exploding for 30 in their opening round win against Bucknell.
“Anything it takes to keep playing basketball, that’s what I’m focused on doing,” Cummings, a senior said after the win. “Our days our numbered, I want to take advantage of any opportunity given to me... I think we have something to prove, that’s what’s driving us right now.”
Jesse Morgan went 4-for-7 from downtown chipping in 20 points while Jesse Morgan, Josh Brown and Devin Coleman also scored in double figures.
“We were trying to protect home court and make a statement tonight,” Morgan said, who helped the Owls improve to 15-2, setting a record for the most home wins in Temple history.
Temple will have one more home game this season as they reach the NIT’s ‘Elite Eight.’ They will host the winner of Monday’s Louisiana Tech vs. Texas A&M Wednesday at 7 p.m.
A win Wednesday would send the Owls to Madison Square Garden in New York to vie amongst the NIT’s ‘Final Four,’ the following week.
“We want to be one of the last team’s playing,” Morgan said, looking forward to their opportunity to bring home an NIT title.
“We are trying to make it to Madison Square Garden and make some noise there," Cummings added.