Aar of Invincibility
Aaric Murray
Aaric Murray
Senior Writer
Posted Dec 18, 2013


A familiar player on an unfamiliar team came into the Liacouras Center and stunned Temple on Wednesday night. Aaric Murray – who played two seasons at La Salle and had been recruited by Temple out of high school- scored 48 points for his new squad, Texas Southern, in a 90-89 victory over the Owls.

A familiar player on an unfamiliar team came into the Liacouras Center and stunned Temple on Wednesday night.

Aaric Murray – who played two seasons at La Salle and had been recruited by Temple out of high school- scored 48 points for his new squad, Texas Southern, in a 90-89 victory over the Owls.

The total set a Liacouras Center record and also a mark for most points scored against Temple. The 48 points were the most scored in an Division I game this season.

Murray spent two seasons at La Salle and one at West Virginia before landing with former Indiana coach Mike Davis at Texas Southern.

“It was very impressive, obviously,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “As difficult as he was to guard inside, he hit two threes that hurt us too. He had a soft touch. We went zone a couple times and he burned us.

“I thought we made some decent adjustments in the second half, but we just weren’t as solid as we needed to be on him. It wasn’t fun to watch, but give him his just due. He rebounded, ran the floor well. Give him credit. He came here wanting to make statement and he did.”

Murray was 20-for-28 from the field, including 2-of-5 on threes, 6-of-8 from the line and also grabbed eight rebounds.

“I tried to contatin him and I didn’t do a good job, I won’t put it on anybody else,” said Temple junior center Anthony Lee. “They gave him a lot of plays, set a lot of screens (for him). They went to him every time.”

The Owls almost survived the Murray onslaught, rallying from 14 points down and taking an 89-88 lead on a pair of Anthony Lee free throws with 14 seconds left – capping a 7-0 run in the final minute. But Daniel Dingle was called for a foul at the other end as Madarious Gibbs grabbed an offensive rebound, and Gibbs hit both freebies.

Will Cummings missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and Dalton Pepper’s follow wasn’t in time. The Owls suffered a second straight one-point loss – they were beaten in overtime by a late three-pointer against Texas on Dec. 7 and also missed a potential winning shot then.

The stunning defeat – the Owls didn’t have many comfortable wins circled on the schedule, but this looked like one of them – dropped them to a disappointing 4-5 with one game left against Long Island in Brooklyn Saturday before American Athletic Conference play starts in the new year. Texas Southern improved to just 4-7.

“I’m frustrated I’m not doing a good enough job,” said Dunphy. “We need to be thinking more and be more poised.”

Texas Southern shot the ball at a 59 percent clip, while Temple drained 56 percent of its shots.

Quenton DeCosey shot 8-of-9 for a career-high 19 points, Lee finished with 18, and Cummings scored 16. Pepper added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Dingle scored a career high with 13 points.

“It doesn’t mean much without getting the win,” said DeCosey.


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