Temple advance to American Championship semifinal with win over USF


Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

Devin Coleman finished the game with 10 points for the Temple Owls.

ORLANDO — Jaylen Bond scored 17 points as the Temple Owls advanced to the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament with a 79-62 win over USF on Friday.

USF cut Temple’s lead to 35-27 with a Jahmal McMurray three-pointer just before the first half buzzer but the Owls would come out in the second half on a 21-7 run to take a 20-point lead. The Bulls couldn’t cut it to any closer than 14 following the run.

“We knew we were still in the game,” said McMurray about the mood in the USF locker room at halftime. “They came out and punched us in the mouth.”

Turnovers hurt the Bulls throughout the game, coming at the most inopportune times whenever USF would be trying to make a run to get back into the game. Bond contributed on defense for the Owls as finished the game with four steals.

Temple had five players finish the game in double digit point totals including Obi Enechionyia, who had 13 points and five rebounds.

“We have a lot of players that can chip in,” said Bond in the postgame press conference.

The Owls now advance to take on the winner of UConn vs. Cincinnati in the semifinals on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Amway Center. Temple won the regular season championship but have never won an American Athletic Conference Tournament championship.

Enechionyia said following the game that the Owls need to go into the semifinal matchup more tough and focused than they did a year ago against SMU.