Frustrating Finish

Fran Dunphy

It was an all-too-familiar frustrating script for the Temple men's basketball team in Memphis on Saturday night. The Owls pushed a nationally-ranked team to its limits before eventually falling because of a few empty possessions on the offensive end and defensive breakdowns at the wrong time. Temple missed a chance to beat its second Top 25 team this week in an 82-79 loss to the Tigers.

It was an all-too-familiar frustrating script for the Temple men's basketball team in Memphis on Saturday night.

The Owls pushed a nationally-ranked team to its limits before eventually falling because of a few empty possessions on the offensive end and defensive breakdowns at the wrong time. Temple missed a chance to beat its second Top 25 team this week – it finally broke through against SMU Sunday – in an 82-79 loss to the Tigers.

Will Cummings had 24 points, Quenton DeCosey added 23 and Dalton Pepper scored 20, but it wasn't enough as the Owls fell to 7-19 overall, 2-12 in the American Athletic Conference. Memphis, led by 20 points from Shaq Goodwin, improved to 21-6, 10-4.

No team led by more than one possession for the final 14 minutes of the game – nine minutes of regulation and five of overtime. DeCosey missed a long three right before the overtime buzzer – he might have had Pepper open on the wing – that hit the rim and ended the game.

Goodwin's layup with 4:39 to go gave the Tigers a 72-71 lead but neither team scored for almost three minutes until Joe Jackson's jumper – the Owls left him alone at the top of the key – made it a three-point game with 1:47 to play.

But the Owls responded on Pepper's three-point play at the other end that tied the game at 74. DeCosey forced up a shot at the end of the shot clock with 11 seconds to go in regulation, and Cummings was able to secure the rebound.

But Cummings rushed a follow with seven seconds to play instead of pulling the ball out and the Owls were fortunate to send the game into overtime.

Pepper's three-pointer with 3:23 to play gave the Owls their last lead at 77-76, but Jackson answered with a layup and the Owls didn't hit a field goal the rest of the way.

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