ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Temple University men’s basketball fans rose to their feet at Boardwalk Hall after J.P. Moorman II capped a seven-point run and forced Davidson College to call a timeout.
The sophomore forward dunked on Davidson freshman guard David Czerapowicz and forced a turnover on defense to give the Owls (9-2) a five-point lead.
Moorman finished the night with a career-high 14 points and made several important plays in Temple’s 77-75 comeback overtime win against Davidson (8-2) on Saturday.
After Moorman’s dunk, Temple had the momentum, Moorman said. But the Owls let Davidson answer and take a 66-63 lead late in regulation.
“We can’t let that happen,” Moorman added. “If we get the momentum, we want to keep it.”
With less than one minute left in the second half, senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. passed the ball to a wide-open Moorman on the right wing. Moorman made the 3-pointer and tied the game at 66 to help send the game to overtime.
The Owls needed a 3-point shot to tie the game with less than one minute left in overtime. This time, Moorman assisted Alston’s game-tying 3-point shot with 32 seconds left. Junior guard Quinton Rose sealed the victory for Temple with a steal and fast-break dunk on the following possession.
Moorman’s career performance came after he attempted just one shot and didn’t score in Temple’s previous two games against Villanova and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Assistant coach Chris Clark and other Temple coaches challenged Moorman to be more aggressive after the Owls’ 65-63 win against UMass on Wednesday.
Coach Fran Dunphy said he wanted more production from Moorman, particularly in the rebound department. Moorman tallied just one rebound and one assist in 19 minutes against UMass.
“He knows when his minutes are gonna come, he knows he’s gonna get his share,” Dunphy said. “He did a terrific job on the defensive end, made some pretty good adjustments against [Davidson].”
Moorman grabbed a season-high seven rebounds and had two steals on Saturday.
He looked at his final stats from the past two games and knew he needed to make a change.
During Temple’s two-day break before Saturday’s game, Moorman talked to family members about being more aggressive offensively and taking more shots.
Senior center Ernest Aflakpui played a season-low 15 minutes due to foul trouble. As a result, the Owls played a “small-ball lineup” consisting of Rose, Alston, Moorman and sophomores forward De’Vondre Perry and guard Nate Pierre-Louis.
When Temple deploys that lineup, Moorman said, it has a speed advantage, especially with Perry and Moorman playing as the Owls’ big men. The lineup also opens pick-and-pop opportunities for Moorman, he said.
“I was just trying to get the team involved in the last few games,” Moorman added. “But I saw some opportunities for myself tonight.”