PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/11/2016 – A Quenton DeCosey off balance layup and foul shot brought the Temple Owls back from a 12-point deficit and gave the Owls an unlikely 63 – 58 win over the Connecticut Huskies at the Liacouris Center. Defensively, Temple held Connecticut to four points over the last 5:13 in securing the victory. Meanwhile the Cherry and White finished that span with an 18 points of their own to get the needed separation.
Another come from behind victory by the resilient Owls.
“I hope that is a great part of our DNA,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy. “We are resilient. We are not giving up as a group. Some things had to go our way, and they did.”
DeCosey, who scored a game-high 23 points, saved his heroics for the end as he scored the last nine points for the home team.
“Once we made the run and got back in the game, down two minutes left I definitely was telling myself that this was it, my time to take over and make plays for myself and my teammates to try and get us the win,” DeCosey said.
The Cherry and White went into halftime with a 31 – 29 lead, but in the second half the game turned into the direction of Connecticut. A three-pointer by Shonn Miller started UConn on a 21- 4 run over a 10:45 span to take a 52 – 40 lead with under eight minutes to play. Miller scored 9 points in the run and 15 for the game. Temple tried to answer as Jalen Bond scored 6 of his 8 points in that stretch. He added a game-high 13 rebounds.
But it was not over.
The Owls trailed 52 – 45. Then Daniel Dingle, who scored a career-high 15 points, found the range from beyond the arc. He hit three to start a 12 – 2 answering run for Temple to get to within 56 -54 with 345 to play.
“I was trying to help us get back into the game,” Dingle said. “We practice three-point shooting every day. I put in the work and got lucky tonight.”
A Quenton DeCosey put-back with 1:49 knotted the score at 56 allowing the Owls to take control.
“It comes down to execution,” said Connecticut Coach Kevin Ollie. “We had six turnovers at the end. We had a ten-point lead, but missed a couple of layups. We couldn’t get a shot up and make one at the end.”
Temple improves to 15 – 8 overall and are 9 – 3 in conference which gives them sole possession of second place in the American. UConn drops to 7 – 4 just behind Cincinnati and Tulsa in the league standings. Next up for the Cherry and White is a home game on Sunday against USF. Following that there is a Big Five game as top-ranked Villanova visits North Broad Street. Temple hopes to keep their momentum moving forward.
“We are one of the best teams in the conference, and we are on a roll,” said DeCosey.
Written By: Glenn Papazian