- It came down to the wire, but Temple men's basketball picked up its third straight win on Saturday afternoon, edging UCF 62-60 on the road. The win was the 517th of head coach Fran Dunphy
's career, making him the all-time winningest coach in Philadelphia Big 5 basketball history.
Dunphy surpassed Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney who had 516 wins, all at Temple. For Dunphy, 207 of his wins have come with the Owls, putting him third on the all-time wins list for the program behind Chaney and fellow Hall of Famer Harry Litwack
"There's been an unbelievable amount of great coaches in Philadelphia, and I've just been around a little longer than most of those guys," said Dunphy after the win. "I wish every major metropolitan area had what we have with the Big 5."
The Owls are now 14-8 overall and 8-3 in the American Athletic Conference, standing alone in second place after a Cincinnati loss at Memphis this afternoon. UCF drops to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in league play.
Junior Mark Williams
was the x-factor for Temple in the win, surpassing his previous season high by seven points and leading the Owls with 16. Williams hit 7-of-10 from the field including 2-of-3 from long range. Also in double figures for Temple were senior Quenton DeCosey
with 15 points and sophomore Obi Enechionyia
Senior Devin Coleman
scored nine points, while junior Josh Brown
added four assists and a team-best seven rebounds to six points.
Both teams shot well early in the first half, but the Owls stayed more consistent down the stretch. After four early ties, the last at 18-18, UCF briefly took its largest lead of three points with a 6-0 run.
Down 24-21 at 8:29, Temple used an 11-0 run, capped by a Williams three-pointer, to lead 32-24 with 4:18 left in the half. The Owls kept the Knights scoreless for over five minutes en route to taking their largest lead of the period.
UCF eventually answered with six straight points to come within two, but Temple had it back to a four-point lead by halftime, 36-32. Enechionyia and Coleman each had eight points to lead the Owls at the break, while DeCosey and Williams finished with seven in a balanced offensive attack.
The Owls increased their lead to six early in the second half, but UCF quickly cut the margin to a point. From there, the largest lead for either team was five the rest of the way in a second half that saw three more ties and four lead changes.
UCF's last lead was 56-55 at 3:28 before a 6-2 run gave Temple the lead for good. DeCosey converted a three-point play with 1:46 left for a 61-58 lead, but the Knights' Tanksley Efianayi hit a pair of free throws at the other end.
With 36 seconds remaining, UCF had a chance to take the lead but the Owls came up with the stop, and Coleman hit 1-of-2 at the line for a two-point lead that would stand as the final tally. On the Knights' final possession, two three-pointers missed the mark. They got a layup to go, but upon official review it was made after the final buzzer.
Up next for Temple is a home game against UConn on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. (ESPN2 / 1210 AM WPHT).Box Score (PDF)
| Video Highlights
| Fran Dunphy Postgame Interview