Shizz Alston Jr. stole a pass from Sterling Brown on the wing and found a trailing Quinton Rose at the other end of the court for an emphatic alley-oop dunk.
The play brought Temple within 11 points of No. 25 SMU on Thursday night, providing a much-needed offensive spark for the Owls early in the second half.
However, it wasn't nearly enough to ignite Temple, which threatened the nationally-ranked Mustangs only twice before falling, 66-50, at the Liacouras Center.
Temple climbed as close as six points with 7:54 remaining, but Semi Ojeleye, who had a game-high 30 points to go with 10 rebounds, hit the next two shots to restore order for the Mustangs. Ojeleye's second basket gave SMU a 57-48 lead with 4:56 left and the Owls never came within single digits again.
Temple dropped another conference game, making it 4-8 against AAC opponents this season and 13-12 overall. The Mustangs, on the other hand, have not had trouble in league play, improving to 11-1 in the AAC and 21-4 overall.
The Owls started off conference competition losing six of their first seven games. Last season, they were regular-season AAC champions, finishing with a 21-12 record. But this season, they sit in eighth place in the conference.
Dunphy's squads at Temple have finished worse than third place in the conference only two times since he became the head coach in 2006.
Top 25 opponents
With the loss to SMU, the Owls fell to 2-4 against AP Top 25 opponents this season. After beating Florida State and West Virginia in the NIT Season Tip-Off, they've gone 0-4.
Temple has lost to Villanova and Cincinnati twice.
Rose was called for one — which was his fourth foul of the game — midway through the second half after he was apparently mouthing off to Brown.
Inside the box score
• Ojeleye dominated the Owls from all over the court. The redshirt junior and Duke transfer shot 8 of 16 (50 percent) from the field, including 4 of 8 from three-point range. He also had two assists, a block and a steal.
• Rose provided the spark the Owls needed off the bench. The freshman recorded 12 points on 5 of 11 shooting. He also had a couple emphatic dunks on the night.
• Alston, the Owls' leading scorer, had 13 points, three assists and three steals. He was also 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.
• Temple turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 17 points for the Mustangs. Daniel Dingle had six of the miscues.
• SMU entered shooting the three ball at 40 percent. But on Thursday, it shot 23.5 percent from three. Temple was slightly better at 26.7 percent.
• After scoring 20 points in five of the first seven games, Obi Enechionyia's struggles continued for the Owls. He posted eight points on 3 of 11 shooting.
SMU started a 16-3 run with 12:14 to go in the first half off a Brown jumper to take a 28-18 lead at the break.
Ojeleye led all scorers in the opening 20 minutes with 13 points on 3 of 6 shooting.
Temple couldn't get in a rhythm offensively, shooting 24 percent from the field. The Owls had two stretches in which they didn't score a bucket in over five minutes.
SMU's full-court press also caused problems for Temple's young guards. The Owls turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, leading to 11 points for the Mustangs.
Rose led the Owls in scoring with seven points off the bench.
Temple will travel to play Memphis for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday at FedExForum. The Owls beat the Tigers, 77-66, on Jan. 25 at the Liacouras Center.