Decked out in a black knit watch cap and scarf, Temple men's basketball coach John Chaney addressed the media last night. The Owls had just defeated Penn, 53-42, at the Palestra, but you wouldn't know it from what Chaney said about his squad. The insults began to fly as Chaney discussed the play of Temple center Marc Jackson. The Quakers had attempted to double-team Jackson, with little success. The 6-foot-10 sophomore had 16 points and 13 rebounds in the contest, dominating center Tim Krug and forward Paul Romanczuk in the low post with apparent ease. Yet Chaney was not satisfied. "They mix it up," Chaney said of Penn's interior defense on Jackson. "They'll catch him. Instead of him dropping, he would go high. So the man would get him from behind a lot. That's very difficult for him to read, so you've got to dial 911 and get your ass out of there and look across the court to get that swingman." Temple swingmen Lynard Stewart and Huey Futch also drew Chaney's wrath. Futch stepped into the starting lineup last night after guard Johnny Miller dislocated his shoulder in the Owls' last game against Fordham. But matched up against guard Garett Kreitz, Futch chipped in only three points -- less than half his season average -- and six defensive rebounds. Stewart added 12 points, well above his average of 6.6 per game, but contributed only one rebound. "Lynard and Huey just don't make that spread fast enough," Chaney said. "They're slow-ass people. So when [Jackson] starts to look for them, the Penn guy has a chance to help and recover to them. Now [Jackson] finds himself backing his man up again, and I'm screaming at him." That seems to be a constant within Chaney's system. The post-game trash-talking continued as Chaney described his trademark match-up zone. The Owls actually managed to improve upon their scoring defense (59.2 ppg) -- fourth best in the nation -- by holding Penn to just 42 points. The Quakers turned in a pathetic offensive performance against the Temple zone, making only 22.8 percent of their shots from the floor and 21.1 percent from long range in 38 attempts. Temple did a near-flawless job shutting down the passing lanes, stifling Penn's motion offense and forcing the Quakers outside. The height differential became a huge factor in the game then, as Penn found few available shots without a Temple hand in the way. "What would appear sometimes to be an opening many times was not," Penn head coach Fran Dunphy said. "You think you've got a wide gap before that shot's taken, but all of a sudden it's closed very quickly. We probably needed to get in the middle more and attack the basket once we got it in the middle." Both teams shot poorly, particularly in the second half, when neither squad topped 23 percent. The first half was the difference in the contest, as Temple made 48 percent of its shots and emerged with a 14-point lead by halftime. After scoring just 18 first-half points, the Quakers went into intermission searching for adjustments. "We hoped we would just come out and things would change," Krug said. "We figured you can't play that badly and continue into the second half." Unfortunately for Penn, its shooting woes persisted after the break. Quakers' swingman Ira Bowman suffered most of all. Scoreless at halftime, the Penn co-captain managed only four points on two free throws and a running jumper -- all within the last 1 minute, 21 seconds of the contest. Kreitz was the sole Quaker able to overcome the stifling Temple defense, leading Penn with 15 points, all from beyond the arc. "You can't stop shooting," Krug said. "You can't sit back and say the shots aren't falling so don't take them. You just have to keep shooting and hope they start dropping." Unfortunately for the Quakers, the shots never started to fall.Comments powered by Disqus
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