In the midst of a season that has been somewhat of a rollercoaster at times, the Owls appeared to be staring down defeat late in Thursday’s contest with Tulsa.
After trailing by as much as 12 in the second half, Temple would battle back down the stretch, but still find itself trailing by five with just 25 seconds remaining in regulation. The Owls would clearly have a bit of luck on their side, as Tulsa missed two 1-and-1 opportunities in the span of a few seconds, opening the door for Devin Coleman to knock down a game-tying three with just three seconds remaining to force overtime.
Despite not leading for a single second in the second half, the Owls would go on to pick up an 83-79 overtime victory, improving to 13-8 on the season and 7-3 in conference play.
“This was big to kind of pick us up and get back into it,” Obi Enechionyia said. “Especially with how we were down and how we were struggling. Any time you can come back and win a game like that in the last few seconds, that’s a big win.”
The second half would begin even worse for the Owls, however, as Tulsa started the half on a 15-3 run to take a 42-30 lead. Temple would begin to chip away at the deficit, even tying the game at 61-61 with 2:21 remaining, but would seem destined for defeat after finding itself trailing by five with just 25 seconds left.
Bond would get the tip-in to go with 16 seconds remaining to cut Tulsa’s lead to three, but Temple would now be forced to foul. Twice the Owls would put a Tulsa player on the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity and both times Tulsa would miss, opening the door for one last chance for Temple.
With just three seconds left, Quenton DeCosey would find an open Coleman in the corner for the game-tying three to force overtime.
The two teams would trade baskets in the early going in overtime, with Pat Birt knocking down a three-pointer with 3:17 remaining to give Tulsa a 75-74 lead. Daniel Dingle would respond with a three of his own a minute later to give Temple back the lead, one it would not relinquish on its way to an 83-79 win.
The Owls were led in the victory by DeCosey, who scored 21 points, all in the second half and overtime, and recorded seven rebounds and four assists.
“I just told myself at halftime that I just need to keep being aggressive,” DeCosey said. “My shots weren’t falling in the first half, so I didn’t want to get down on myself. I just came out and wanted to still be aggressive and try to get our team back in the game.”
Enechionyia would add 17 points of his own and Bond would notch a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to help the Owls complete the comeback victory.
“Let’s have this propel us to bigger and better things,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said following the win.
Next up for the Owls is a trip to Central Florida, as Temple looks to finally find its groove.
“We have to be ready in a very short period of time,” Dunphy said. “Hopefully this win tonight helps us with our confidence level.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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