Junior guard Josh Brown’s spinning layup with less than three seconds left in the game helped the Owls take home their second road win over a AP Top 25 opponent in the last seven days, defeating No. 23 Connecticut 55-53 Tuesday at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
Tuesday’s matchup with UConn was the Owls’ sixth contest against a Top 25 opponent this season. After dropping its first three games against ranked teams, coach Fran Dunphy’s squad opened conference play with a 77-70 win against then-No. 22 Cincinnati Dec. 29 at Fifth Third Arena.
Sandwiched between the two wins was a 27-point loss to Houston Saturday. Following the loss, Dunphy made a lineup change to begin the game against the Huskies.
After sticking with the same starting lineup for the last 10 games, Dunphy benched senior guard Devin Coleman and sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia in favor of redshirt-junior guard/forward Daniel Dingle and freshman guard Levan Shawn Alston, Jr. to start Tuesday’s contest at UConn.
Dingle and Alston joined senior forward Jaylen Bond, senior guard Quenton DeCosey and Brown in the starting rotation.
In his first game not in the starting lineup this season, Coleman tallied 14 points and six rebounds.
Despite coming off the bench, Enechionyia picked up his second foul with seven minutes, 24 seconds remaining in the first half. He totaled seven minutes in the first half of Tuesday’s game after totaling five minutes in the first half of Saturday’s 77-50 loss to Houston.
The sophomore, who came into Tuesday night as the Owls’ second-leading scorer, finished the game with two points and two rebounds in seventeen minutes of play.
Just as in Temple’s victory against in the Bearcats, the Owls had four players reach double figures in scoring.
Along with Coleman, DeCosey had 15 points to lead the Owls in scoring. Bond notched his fourth double-double of the season, tallying 11 points and 10 rebounds. Brown had 11 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Temple shot 38.9 percent from the floor in the win, but the Owls held UConn to a 32.1 percent mark from the field. The Owls also won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Huskies 40-34.
The Owls’ 3-point shooting improved from their loss to Houston. After making 3-of-23 3-point attempts Saturday, Temple converted 7-of-18 attempts from 3-point range Tuesday.
Owen McCue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Owen_McCue