PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/4/2016 – The Temple Owls finally defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for the first time in five tries. It didn’t appear that it would happen as the Owls trailed by five points with 25.9 seconds to play. But after missed free throws by Tulsa gave Temple an opening. A Devon Coleman three-pointer from the left corner with 3 seconds to play tied the game at 70 and sent it into overtime.
In the extra period the game stayed close until a three from the same left corner by Obi Enechionyia put the Owls ahead by 81 – 77 with 32 seconds left. Temple held on to earn an 83 – 79 win over Tulsa at the Liacouris Center. The win also separates the Owls and the Golden Hurricane in the standings as the Cherry and White are 7 – 3 in the American and will have at least a share of second place. Tulsa falls to 6 – 4.
It was an improbable win that Temple can build on.
“We stuck together,” Temple guard and leading scorer Quenton DeCosey said. “It was a big win for our team, a big home win. We were down, but found a way.”
After one half of play the score was as close as the team’s records. It was tied at 27. Tulsa took control early in the stanza behind an 11 – 1 run over 4:51 to take a 42 – 30 lead with 13:10 on the clock. DeCosey broke the run with a basket, his first of the game at the 12:48 mark. He would go on to score team-high 21 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
“I told myself at halftime that I had to be aggressive,” said DeCosey. “My shots weren’t falling in the first half, but I didn’t get down. I came out aggressive and tried to get my team back in the game.”
As the Owls continued to battle back the Golden Hurricane (14 – 8) still stayed in front behind the plays of the guards Pat Birt, who had a game-high 22 points, Shaquille Harrison, who added 20, and James Woodard with 18. But Tulsa could not hold off the final surge culminated when DeCosey found Coleman in the corner.
Enechionyia scored 17 points for Temple despite being in foul trouble. Jaylen Bond contributed a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards. Josh Brown had 9 points and 6 assists.
Temple (13 – 8) goes to UCF for the next battle in the American, another game to focus on after finding a way to snare a victory following a conference loss at East Carolina.
“This was big to pick us up and get back,” said Enechionyia. “Especially after how we were down and how we were struggling. Anytime you can comeback and win a game like that in the last few seconds, that’s a big win.”
“Let’s have this propel us to bigger and better things,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy. “It’s a quick turn around to go against a team that is very much improved.
Written By: Glenn Papazian