Brown’s 3-pointer helps Temple men’s basketball beat Penn

For the third time this season, redshirt-senior guard Josh Brown hit a go-ahead shot to help the Owls beat Penn 60-51 on Saturday at The Palestra.

Redshirt-senior guard Josh Brown (right) attempts a fastbreak layup during Temple's 60-51 victory against Penn on Saturday at The Palestra. | EVAN EASTERLING / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Coach Fran Dunphy doesn’t know if being in tight-game situations will help Temple later in the season.

Temple’s past three games before Saturday were all decided by one possession. The Owls found themselves exchanging buckets with Penn in the waning minutes at The Palestra.

With less than one minute left, redshirt-senior guard Josh Brown connected on a step-back 3-pointer to give the Owls a five-point lead in their 60-51 win. The Owls (10-9, 2-5 American Athletic Conference) have won three of their past four games. Brown finished with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and one turnover.

“Him and [senior forward] Obi [Enechionyia] are our captains,” junior guard Shizz Alston Jr. said. “I love when they come through in the clutch. Josh has been here the longest, so when games are going down and we need a big shot, he likes to take it. And we trust him in making the decision.”

Alston also played a key role late against the Quakers.

After freshman forward J.P. Moorman II couldn’t corrall an ill-advised pass from sophomore guard Quinton Rose, Penn sophomore forward AJ Brodeur hit a 3-pointer to give the Quakers a 51-48 lead with four minutes, two seconds remaining in the contest.  

Alston tied the game on the following possession with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. He finished with 14 points, three rebounds, one assist and one turnover.

“I just felt like I needed to make a play,” Alston said. “They had a little bit of momentum, and I just wanted to stop all of the momentum that they had by making a play.”

“We talk about it a lot, the momentum of games,” Dunphy said. “It could be a shot, it could be a bad pass, it could be an offensive rebound. …We go down three, and I thought Shizz made a huge three at the top of the key.”

Dunphy added that Moorman, who played a career-high 26 minutes, didn’t make a bad play throughout the game.

Moorman scored a runner in the lane to give the Owls a 53-51 lead with 2:32 left. He also made a hustle play late in the first half that helped to give Temple the lead.

After sophomore guard Alani Moore II missed a free throw, Moorman hauled in the rebound and dished it back to him on the wing. Moore then connected on a 3-pointer that gave Temple a 22-18 lead with 5:59 left in the first half. Moorman finished with four points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover.

Temple opened up the second half on a 14-1 run. So what did the Owls do different offensively?

“We gave it to Obi,” Dunphy said.

Enechionyia, who only scored five points in the first half, found his stroke during Temple’s second-half run. He hit a contested 3-pointer that gave the Owls a 33-26 lead with 17:05 left in the contest.

Enechionyia finished 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting and collected nine rebounds.

“My shot was just falling, and guys were finding me in open spots,” Enechionyia said. “My job is to shoot it, so I got to open spots and just felt good hitting shots.”

Damion Moore wasn’t wearing a boot on his right foot against the Quakers like he did on last Saturday against Memphis and Wednesday against Tulsa. But the sophomore center didn’t play in Temple’s victory. He has missed the past four games with a sprained ankle.

Dunphy didn’t have a timetable for his return.

“He’s getting better,” Dunphy said. “There’s still swelling in there.”

Temple’s next game is against Cincinnati (17-2, 6-0 The American), which is ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press poll. The Bearcats, who will host the game, have the longest home winning streak in Division I.

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