Temple Owls

Temple picks up top-25 win in Fran Dunphy's last home game

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Temple picks up top-25 win in Fran Dunphy's last home game

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Shizz Alston Jr. scored 21 points, Justyn Hamilton tied a career high with 13 and Temple got a critical 67-62 victory over No. 25 Central Florida on Saturday in Owls coach Fran Dunphy's final home game before he steps down at the end of the season.

Quinton Rose broke a 52-all tie with a highlight-reel slam over Central Florida's Dayon Griffin with 4:12 remaining. Rose scored nine of his 11 points in the second half for the Owls (23-8, 13-5 American Athletic Conference), who needed a win over a ranked team to help strengthen their bid for the NCAA Tournament.

Aubrey Dawkins led UCF (23-7, 13-5) with a career-high 36 points. He was the only Knights player in double figures.

Dawkins hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to cut the deficit to three. Seven seconds later, after two Temple free throws, UCF's B.J. Taylor was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. He made all three free throw to get the deficit to two, but Alston hit two foul shots at the other end to put the game away.

Dunphy has coached the Owls since the 2006-07 season. Associate coach Aaron McKie, a former Temple and Philadelphia 76ers star, will take over the program next season. Tributes to Dunphy at the Liacouras Center on Saturday included video messages from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown.

Central Florida had a 15-7 lead early in the first half but then Temple ripped off 12 straight, including 10 with UCF big man Tacko Fall on the Knights' bench, where he'd spend the last 9:47 of the first half after picking up his second foul. Temple, paced by Alston's 12 first-half points, led 35-34 at the break.

The takeaway

Central Florida: With Fall in foul trouble, Temple did its best work. UCF has plenty of fire power to make some noise in the tournament, but Fall's presence on the court gives them the best chance at winning.

Temple: The Owls scored a critical win against a surefire NCAA Tournament team. Their ticket is likely punched, but a win or two in the American tournament wouldn't hurt.

Up next

Both teams head to Memphis for the American Athletic Conference tournament. Temple and UCF both have a bye to the quarterfinals and start play on Friday, March 15.

Shizz Alston's career night vs. UConn helps keep Temple's NCAA tournament at-large hopes alive

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Shizz Alston's career night vs. UConn helps keep Temple's NCAA tournament at-large hopes alive

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STORRS, Conn. — Shizz Alston Jr. told himself he wasn't going to let Temple's NCAA tournament bubble burst against UConn.

The senior scored a career-high 34 points, leading the Owls back from a six-point second-half deficit to a 78-71 road win on Thursday and keeping their hopes alive for an at-large tournament berth.

Alston hit 12 of his 14 shots from the floor and was 4 of 5 from behind the arc for Temple (22-8, 12-5 American), which had beaten the Huskies by 18 points in Philadelphia in January.

"I just wasn't going to let us lose," Alston said. "I knew if we kept pace with them, we could pull it out in the end, but I never wanted them to get separation, because they're a dangerous home team."

Quinton Rose added 20 points for Temple, which secured a bye in the first round of next week's conference tournament.

Christian Vital had 26 points off the bench for UConn (14-16, 5-12), which lost for the first time this season at Gampel Pavilion. Josh Carlton added 21 points in a losing effort.

UConn trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but came back to take its first lead five minutes into the second half on a long 3-pointer from Tyler Polley.

Carlton brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk off a spin move, part of a run that saw UConn go up 53-47.

The Huskies led 58-56 when Alterique Gilbert, their point guard, took an elbow to the face and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Vital said that took the air out of both the team and the arena.

"He's one of our best players," Vital said. "Clearly, whenever you have one of your better players go down, it's going to disrupt the team, especially in the second half. We had our flow going."

A steal and dunk from Alston put Temple up 65-60 and the Owls hit their free throws down the stretch to hang on.

"He made some big, big baskets tonight," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, who was coaching his final regular-season road game. "He's not a dunker, but I'm sure he felt he had great legs about him on that play."

Big picture 
Temple: The Owls have won five of their last six to join Houston, Cincinnati and UCF with tournament byes.

UConn: The Huskies finish the regular-season 8-1 at Gampel Pavilion. They are 6-15 on all other courts. UConn will have to win this weekend and take at least two games in the conference tournament to avoid a third straight losing season.

"This is what it should look like in year one of what we've gotta do around here, rebuild this thing," said UConn coach Dan Hurley.

Stats of the night 
Temple shot 49 percent from the floor, hit 7 of 12 shots from 3-point range and made 17 of 20 free throws.

Moving up the charts 
Alston's four 3-pointers gives him 89 this season, tying him with Mike Vreeswyk for fifth place on the program's single-season list. His 589 points this season ranks 20th in program history.

Better from distance 
The Huskies, who missed all 15 shots from behind the arc against USF on Sunday, missed their first two in this one. The streak ended with a long 3-pointer from Christian Vital that gave UConn its first points. He ended up hitting seven of 11 3-point shots and the team was 10 of 29 from long distance.

Up next 
Temple: The Owls close the regular season at home on Saturday with a showdown against UCF, which came into Thursday 12-4 in the conference.

UConn: UConn wraps up the season at East Carolina on Sunday.

Temple extends Tulane's losing skid to 18 games

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Temple extends Tulane's losing skid to 18 games

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Quinton Rose had a career-high 29 points as Temple topped Tulane 80-69 on Sunday for its fourth win in five games.

Shizz Alston Jr. added 22 points for the Owls. Alston Jr. also had nine assists for the Owls.

Damion Moore had 10 points for Temple (21-8, 11-5 American Athletic Conference), which earned its fourth straight home victory. Nate Pierre-Louis added six rebounds.

Samir Sehic had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Green Wave (4-24, 0-16), whose losing streak stretched to 18 games. Caleb Daniels added 18 points and seven rebounds. He also had four assists but committed seven turnovers. Jordan Cornish had nine assists.

The Owls improve to 2-0 against the Green Wave for the season. Temple defeated Tulane 75-67 on Feb. 2. Temple plays Connecticut on the road on Thursday. Tulane plays South Florida at home on Wednesday.