In the final seconds of the game, redshirt-freshman guard Damian Dunn secured the win for the Owls as he drilled a game-winning 3-pointer over an East Carolina University defender.
“It just shows our growth,” Dunn said. “Our growth and our resiliency, our grit and our toughness and, you know, that’s three identities of our whole team.”
Temple University men’s basketball (9-6, 2-2, The American Athletic Conference) defeated the Pirates (10-4, 1-1, The American) 78-75 on Saturday afternoon after Temple erased a 10-point deficit in the first half.
“We came through for each other, we believed in each other,” said freshman forward Nick Jourdain. “That’s pretty much been our motto.”
The Owls got off to a strong start, holding the Pirates scoreless for the first four minutes of the game. However, their seven-point lead quickly dwindled once the Pirates found their offensive rhythm, allowing the Pirates to take the lead 9-8.
The Pirates used their size and aggressiveness to make passes over the Owls and fight their way through Temple’s defense.
The Pirates maintained the lead for the majority of the first half, but dunks by freshman guard Jeremiah Williams and Jourdain cut the Pirates’ lead to six points before halftime.
However, a bench technical foul called on Temple ended the half on a bad note.
Coming to the second half, a 3-pointer by Dunn sparked the Owls’ offense and helped them dominate for the remainder of the game.
Dunn led the team with 33 points, and Jourdain stepped up to tally 16 in the contest.
In the final 15 seconds of the game, the Owls led by just one point. A foul on Jourdain sent the Pirates to the free throw line with a chance to take the lead, but they only made one shot, resulting in a tied score with just one second remaining.
In the end, Dunn made his third 3-pointer of the game, clinching the win for the Owls in the last second of the game.
“We were going to run a different action and [Dunn] said, you know, ‘give me the ball coach,” said assistant head coach Monté Ross.
The Owls will hit the road to take on the University of Tulsa (6-7, 0-2, The American) on Wednesday Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.