In Temple’s 66-53 win over East Carolina on Saturday, Will Cummings led all scorers with 17 points after a relatively quiet first half.
At the break, Cummings had four points in 15 minutes on 2 of 5 shooting and didn’t get to the free-throw line once. That changed in the second half.
Cummings got to the charity stripe seven times, making all seven free throws in the second half and added six more points on 3 of 8 shooting for a 13-point second-half effort against the Pirates.
But there’s been one constant struggle for Cummings this season: three-point shooting. The Jacksonville, Fla. native was 0 for 3 from beyond the arc against ECU. Overall, Cummings is shooting 17.9 percent (12 for 67) from three-point range in 25 games.
“I’m not really sure, I’m not really worried about it,” Cummings said. “We’ll win. Personally, it doesn’t really matter to me right now. As long as we’re coming out here and getting wins, I could be shooting 0 for 30, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just focused on getting wins.”
Cummings played 34 minutes against the Pirates Saturday afternoon. This season, Owls head coach Fran Dunphy has relied heavily on his senior point guard and frequently praises his leadership.
“Whenever the time is critical, he needs to be in the game,” Dunphy said about Cummings, who has played at least 39 minutes eight times this season. “He’s such an important part of what we’re doing. He gets plenty of rest during the week as well. But we need Will in there as much as we can.”
Ready to return?
Obi Enechionyia missed his third straight game Saturday with a sprained right ankle. The freshman forward participated in warmups and dressed but did not play against East Carolina.
“He could have played had we needed him today,” Dunphy said. “But there’s no reason to push it. We’re gonna need him on Thursday and Sunday, and hopefully that extra rest will be good for him. Another big day off for him (Sunday), I’m sure he’ll get great treatment.”
Dunphy said he believes the 6-foot-8 Enechionyia will be ready to play Thursday at SMU. The five days between games will help.
Enechionyia is averaging 4.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in his first year at Temple. He last played against South Florida, scoring six points with two three-pointers. In the Owls’ 55-37 win over Tulane on Jan. 31, Enechionyia drew comparisons to former Penn star Ugonna Onyekwe.
*Story originally published on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com on Feb. 16, 2015.
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