March 2nd, 2013: The only day it’s ever acceptable to wear a Baltimore Ravens jersey to a Temple basketball game.
Since bracketology made its season debut, Temple basketball’s been on the bubble. And with two home games to go, and one against a currently-ranked VCU squad, a win against struggling Rhode Island was a must-win.
At halftime, the school honored former Owl Bernard Pierce. Pierce left Temple after his junior year to pursue the NFL, and was signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a backup to star running back Ray Rice. Pierce had an outstanding rookie season and was a key part of the Ravens offense. With the Ravens’ victory in Super Bowl XLVII, the world’s most important football game had become Temple Made and we couldn’t wait for Bernie to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to 10th and Diamond. Pierce, daughter in arms, took the court to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Our Super Bowl champion had come home.
In addition to celebrating Pierce, it was also the annual game honoring the birthday of Temple’s mascot, Hooter the Owl. Every year, Philadelphia’s most storied mascots descend on North Philly to blow out the candles on Hooter’s birthday cake. This year, the mascots even filmed their own version of the “Harlem Shake,” and, most enjoyably, participated in the “Carlton Cam,” a Philly phavorite. Just look at the Phillie Phanatic getting jiggy wit it!
In typical Temple fashion, the game went down to the wire (again,) but clutch shots from Khalif Wyatt and Jake “O’Buckets” O’Brien, the Owls secured a 76-70 win. Wyatt scored 24 points and O’Brien netted his first double-double in the cherry and white.
It was a great addition to the late-season wins the Owls have garnered. With a midweek game at Fordham and the Owls hosting a ranked, hot VCU squad next Sunday in the regular-season finale (Spoiler alert! We’re whiting-out the Liacouras Center!), the Owls need to capitalize on two big games to stay hot heading into the Atlantic-10 Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next week.