Penn stymies Temple, 66-59, to split Big 5 slate

Fran Dunphy’s teams always seemed to play great defense, whether at Penn or Temple.

Dunphy was honored with a standing ovation prior to the game, the first meeting between the two without either being coached by Dunphy in 31 seasons Saturday at the Palestra, and defense was fittingly the order of the day.

The Big 5 rivals held each other under a point per possession, but it was Penn that made enough shots for a 66-59 win.

Penn (8-7, 2-2 Big 5) scored the game’s first 14 points and never trailed, holding the Owls (10-9, 2-1) to 16 points in the first half and not letting Temple get within five down the stretch.

Temple is an excellent defensive team (24th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency) but not a strong shooting squad (306th in effective field goal percentage).

Temple’s shooting numbers went from bad to worse Saturday, as Aaron McKie’s Owls shot a paltry 1-for-13 (.077) from three-point range and 23-for-75 (.307) from the field.

Penn shot 7-for-20 (35%) from three-point range, marking the first time in eight Division I games that Penn had a higher three-point percentage than its opponent.

Since the Owls missed 52 shots, there were plenty of rebounds to be grabbed. AJ Brodeur and Ryan Betley snared 14 each. Brodeur led Penn in scoring with 19 points, adding six assists and two blocks in a typically stellar performance. Betley notched a double-double with 11 points, and Jordan Dingle and Devon Goodman also scored in double figures.

Temple may not be a great sharpshooting team, but ending the season’s Big 5 and nonconference play on a high note at the Palestra is always a good time. Penn’s three-game losing streak is history, and the Red & Blue get Harvard and Dartmouth respectively at the Palestra next weekend, looking to avoid their fourth 0-3 start to Ivy play in the last five seasons.

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