Temple Owls beat Kent State, 80-66, in first game of season

Scootie Randall scored a game-high 31 points in Temple's win at Kent State. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo

KENT, Ohio – Scootie Randall carried the offensive load in Temple's 80-66 season-opening victory over Kent State on Tuesday afternoon at the M.A.C. Center. 

The fifth-year senior swingman scored a career-high 31 points as the Owls (1-0) won their fifth consecutive season-opener. Tuesday afternoon's nationally televised game was part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. 

The win also gives Temple a 3-1 series advantage against Kent State (1-1). The Owls' lone series loss was a 63-54 decision on Nov. 15, 2006. It was Fran Dunphy's first game as Temple's coach coach. 

Overall, Dunphy's teams are now 17-6 against teams from the Mid-American Conference. They are 14-1 since the 2009-10 season. 

Randall didn't show any rust due to missing last season with a medical redshirt. 

The Communications Tech High product made 10 of 18 shot attempts – including 5 of 12 three-pointers. Seventeen of his points came in the first half. Randall also finished with four rebounds, four steals and two assists. 

Sophomore forward Anthony Lee also had a stellar game, finishing with a career-high 16 points and nine rebounds. 

But it didn't take long to realize Randall would be hard to stop. 

After his personal seven-point run, the Owls led 10-4 with 15 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first half. Then his back-to-back three-pointers gave them a 23-11 cushion. Following his lead, Temple built a 15-point first-half cushion.

The Golden Flashes battled back and knotted the score at 46-46 on Kris Brewer's dunk with 15:33 to play. However, Randall's made his fourth three-pointer seconds later to give the Owls a 49-46 lead. He followed with another three to make it a 52-46 game with 13:40 left. 

The Owls extended their lead back to double-digits (61-51) on a Jake O'Brien's three-pointer with 10:12 remaining. The game was basically over after that.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at kpompey@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @pompeysgridlock