• Greg Wille

MEN'S BASKETBALL: 11-point halftime lead evaporates as TC loses conference opener 83-81 at Ranger

RANGER – The Temple College men's basketball team grabbed a 45-34 halftime lead in its Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference opener Saturday against Ranger, but the Leopards were outscored 49-36 in the second half as the Rangers overtook them to seize an 83-81 win.

It was the first conference game for Temple (3-1) with first-year head coach Clifton Ellis.

Sophomore forward Aleu Aleu led the Leopards with 20 points and 20 rebounds, including 11 boards on the offensive end. However, the Texas-San Antonio signee shot 6-of-20 from the field and 1-of-8 from 3-point range along with committing five of TC's 22 turnovers.

Four other Temple players scored in double figures. Freshman reserves Maison Adeleye and Elijah Lomas contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively, while sophomore point guard Tyler Watkins scored 12 and sophomore guard Khouri Perkins had 11.

Perkins added seven rebounds and four steals, while Watkins had five assists and three steals. Lomas shot 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, but the rest of the Leopards were 3-of-20 from behind the arc. Temple missed 10 of its 28 free throw attempts. Ranger also missed 10 foul shots but made five more (23) than TC did.

Jorell Saterfield scored a game-high 23 points for Ranger (2-2, 1-1 NTJCAC), which got 18 from Trey Tennyson, 12 from Starlin Hamilton and 10 from Reece Efole. Saterfield and Hamilton each made half of the Rangers' six 3-pointers. Tiras Morton and Mark Mayle grabbed eight rebounds apiece, and Tennyson produced eight assists and three steals before he fouled out.

Temple will play its first home conference game with Ellis when the Leopards take on Southwestern Christian (1-2, 0-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at TC Gym. Temple will host conference favorite Hill (5-2, 1-1) at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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