SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
- An early lead didn't hold and a late comeback attempt fell short as Tempe men's basketball fell 74-69 to #22/20 Butler (3-0) on Friday afternoon in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off semifinals. The Owls (1-2) will play for third place on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 4:30 p.m. (ET) against either #16/16 Utah or Miami (FL).
Temple got big performances out of seniors Jaylen Bond
and Quenton DeCosey
, who both put up double-doubles. It was the second career double-double for DeCosey, who led all players with 24 points while also pulling down 10 boards. For Bond it was his seventh career double-double as he added 13 points to a game-high 13 rebounds.
Junior Josh Brown
and senior Devin Coleman
also scored in double figures for Temple with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs had two players with 16 points (Tyler Lewis and Kellen Dunham) while another two recorded double-doubles. Lewis hit 8-of-8 free throws in a game largely won at the stripe for Butler, who went 21-of-25. Temple did well at the line, shooting almost 90 percent, but attempted only nine shots.
With 4:15 remaining, Butler led by its largest lead of 10. The Owls cut the margin to five twice, but the Bulldogs made all six of their foul shots in the final minutes while also hitting their last two field goals. Temple trailed by nine with seven seconds left, but the Owls' furious rally included a pair of three-pointers in just the final three seconds by Brown and DeCosey.
It was all Temple early on in the game, as the Owls jumped out to a 10-point lead in just the first five minutes, and led by as many as 12 at the midway point of the first half. Bond had eight points in the early going, and a DeCosey layup at 10:52 put the Owls up 21-9.
Butler caught fire after struggling early, and out-scored Temple 20-5 over the next eight minutes to take a three-point, 29-26 lead at 2:49. The Owls got back-to-back shots from DeCosey to tie the score in the final minute of the half, but Butler answered with a pair of buckets to take a 35-31 lead into the break.
Temple stayed within striking distance the rest of the game, but couldn't tie it up in the second half. Early three-pointers from Obi Enechionyia
and Coleman narrowed the deficit to a point, but despite strong defense, the Owls went scoreless for close to four minutes after the 13-minute mark.
Both teams began finding the net again in the final six minutes, but the back-and-forth game prevented Temple from making enough of a dent. Down five with 2:03 left, a steal for the Owls was followed by two misses and a turnover. The Bulldogs went back ahead by nine, and Temple's last-ditch three-pointers in the final seconds were broken up by a pair of Butler free throws.Box Score (PDF)
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