After three straight games in which they blew second-half leads, the Owls (2–3) held off a late run by the Bulldogs (1-3) on Friday night, beating Georgia 83-81 in the loser’s bracket of the Charleston Classic.
Senior guard Dalton Pepper led Temple with 22 points and six rebounds. The Owls scored a season-high 21 points off the bench, most of which came from sophomore Daniel Dingle who collected 12 points. Junior forward Jimmy McDonnell received his first career start, grabbing four rebounds.
The Owls fell into an early hole, as a three point jumper from Georgia’s Nemanja Djurisic gave the Bulldogs a 15-5 lead. After coach Fran Dunphy called a timeout, however, Temple went on a 13-0 run that was capped off with a Pepper three pointer that gave the Owls an 18-15 lead.
Temple shot for a three-point percentage of .550, scoring 11 to Georgia’s three.
The Owls led the Bulldogs 45-32 at halftime.
To start the second half, Georgia went on an 18-9 run that brought the Bulldogs to within two. From there, Georgia kept the game close up until the final seconds.
With 4:07 remaining in the second half, Djurisic made a three pointer that tied the game at 71. The Owls quickly regained the lead, but the Bulldogs kept the game close. With 18 seconds remaining, a layup by Georgia’s Charles Mann gave the Bulldogs an 81-80 lead, their first lead since the first half.
Temple called a timeout, which was followed by junior guard Will Cummings drilling a three pointer that gave Temple an 83-81 lead with seven seconds remaining. A last second shot was missed by Georgia’s Donte’ Williams, and Temple held on for the victory.
The Owls will continue their play in the Charleston Classic with a game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Avery Maehrer can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @AveryMaehrer.