After Temple’s defense stopped a drive by Pirates’ senior guard Prince Williams, some of the Owls broke out to start the fastbreak, hoping for a chance to win the game with a shot of their on the other side of the floor.
But the loose ball found its way into the hands of East Carolina freshman guard/forward Kentrell Barkley, who put it back in with 1.7 second left despite being fouled by Josh Brown.
Barkley’s basket and the ensuing free throw gave the Pirates a 64-61 win on Wednesday night at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, North Carolina.
The Owls (11-8, 5-3 American Athletic Conference) came into Wednesday night’s game on their first three-game winning streak of the season after defeating previously unbeaten Southern Methodist 89-80 on Sunday at the Liacouras Center.
The Pirates had some momentum of their own heading into the game after notching their first conference win on Sunday against Memphis.
Wednesday’s game featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes, including two ties and two lead changes during the final two minutes of play.
With 1:39 left in the game, junior guard Josh Brown’s layup tied the game at 59. Williams, who led the Pirates with 18 points, countered with a bank shot as the shot clock wound down to grab back the lead.
On the Owls’ next possession, Brown tossed an inbounds pass to senior guard Quenton DeCosey out of bounds.
DeCosey, who tallied a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, stole the ball back on East Carolina’s offensive set, leading to a pair of free throws for Brown, who tied the game at 61 with 21 seconds left.
Although senior forward Jaylen Bond missed his second-straight game with a back injury, the Owls outrebounded East Carolina 39-34. Starting in his fifth-straight game, freshman forward Ernest Aflakpui made all four of his shot attempts for eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia scored 18 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes of action Wednesday. The sophomore scored seven-straight points for the Owls in the second half.
Enechionyia’s minutes and points were his most since he tallied 25 points in 41 minutes against St. Joseph’s on Dec. 13, 2015.
Temple made 9-of-23 shots from 3-point range—six more makes than the Pirates. The Owls turned the ball over six more times than the Pirates and made five fewer free throws.
Owen McCue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Owen_McCue