As junior guard Josh Brown dribbled past halfcourt with 36 seconds left in Temple’s 66-65 overtime loss Sunday to Saint Joseph’s at the Liacouras Center, Hawks’ junior forward Deandre’ Bembry knocked the ball loose, off of Brown and out of bounds.
Holding onto a one-point lead, the Hawks drained the clock on the ensuing possession before St. Joe’s freshman guard Lamarr Kimble hoisted up a shot from the top of the key.
Sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia grabbed the rebound with less than five seconds left and drove the length of the floor. He pulled up from the right side of the three-point line for an off-balanced shot, which rimmed out as time expired, dropping the Owls to 4-5 on the season.
“I wanted to get it to one of the guards, but I knew there wasn’t much time on the clock,” Enechionyia said. “My best option was to push it. The shot felt good coming off. Obviously, it wasn’t that great of a shot, but it’s a tough end.”
Coach Fran Dunphy elected not to call timeout as Enechionyia dribbled up the court, although Dunphy said he would have preferred to get a look driving to the basket.
“We got probably as good as situation that we possible could get for us,” Dunphy said. “There was fives seconds left. With that point, you have three or four bounces in you to try and get something at the rim. … We wanted to get them as scrambled as we could after a miss.”
Brown’s late game turnover was one of six turnovers in the game for the Owls, who came into the contest as the No. 2 team in Division I in fewest turnovers per game at 8.8 per contest.
Bembry also forced the junior guard to turn the ball over at the end of regulation as he attempted to pass the ball across the court.
“Deandre is a great defender,” Brown said of his turnover at the end of overtime. “He sped me up a little bit. I tried to settle the offense down and he got his hand on the ball.”
Enechionyia finished the game with a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds. It was the sophomore’s first career double-double.
Sunday’s game was also the first time this season Enechionyia reached double-digit rebounds. His previous season high was six rebounds against the University of Delaware Nov. 29.
“I hope [Obi] is going to build off of this and play as good as he possible can,” Dunphy said. “He obviously had some good rebounding numbers too, which he hasn’t had for us. If he can add that aspect to his game, that would be great.”
The Hawks and the Owls kept things close in the first half. Neither team led by more than six points within the first 20 minutes of play, and St. Joe’s went into halftime with a 34-32 lead.
After the Owls knotted the game at 36 coming out of the break, the Hawks responded with a 9-0 run giving Phil Martelli’s squad a 45-36 lead with 14:29 left in the half. Temple scored 13 of the game’s next 17 points to tie the game at 49 with 6:22 remaining in the game.
The Owls played the last 3:20 of regulation and the entire overtime period without senior forward Jaylen Bond, who fouled out of the game after totaling seven points and four rebounds.
“I’d much rather have Jaylen in the game,” Dunphy said. “We don’t need Jaylen to be sitting on the bench in a 45-minute game for 24 minutes. We need Jaylen.”
Bembry finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks. He made 7-of-15 shots from the floor.
“He’s a different player,” Brown said. “He’s not just a scorer. He does a lot of the intangibles. You can’t say we stopped him because he didn’t score 20 or 25 points. He got a lot of rebounds.
Owen McCue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Owen_McCue