Guard Quinton Rose scored nine of his 11 points over the last nine minutes of the game to spark Temple to a 67-62 victory over No. 25 UCF Saturday afternoon in a key American Athletic Conference game in Philadelphia.
Guard Shizz Alston Jr. scored 21 points to lead the Owls (23-8, 13-5 AAC), who moved into a tie for third place with the Knights (23-7, 13-5) and kept alive their hopes for a No. 3 seed in next week’s league tournament in Memphis.
Rose’s late heroics and Alston’s steady play overcame a huge game from UCF junior guard Aubrey Dawkins, the son of Knights coach Johnny Dawkins who was a game-time decision to play after hurting his back two nights earlier.
Dawkins scored a career-high 36 points, making back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds to keep the Knights alive by closing an eight-point deficit to three.
Guard B.J. Taylor hit three free throws with 12.1 seconds left to get the Knights to within 64-62, but Alston clinched the victory for Temple with two free throws with 11.7 seconds remaining. Guard Nate Pierre-Louis hit one of two free throws with 4.1 seconds left for the final margin.
UCF trailed only 35-34 at the half despite going through a field-goal drought of just over six minutes midway through the period.
After jumping in front 8-0 and then taking a 15-7 lead in the first five minutes, the Knights managed only two free throws by Dawkins at the 10:17 mark, missing five consecutive shots until Dawkins ended the drought with a 3-pointer with 9:21 left in the period.
The Owls, meanwhile, rode a 12-0 run to take a 19-15 lead while UCF’s Tacko Fall was on the bench with two fouls. The 7-foot-6 senior center picked up his fourth personal and left the game again with 7:55 left in a tie game (48-48).
Turnovers plagued the Knights early. They matched their season average with 11 in the first half alone and ended the game with 18 to Temple’s 11.
—Field Level Media