By CHASE SENIOR
Temple finally found a way to get it done.
After blowing halftime leads in every game this season, the Owls were able to buckle down with the clock ticking away and end a three game losing streak, by defeating the Georgia Bulldogs, 83-81 on Friday night in The Charleston Classic.
Thanks to nine 3-pointers in the first half, five of which coming from senior guard, Dalton Pepper, Temple took a 45-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Owls were able to maintain a cushion for almost the entire second half, but as the game started to wind down, the Bulldogs would mount a comeback.
With a minute left and counting, Pepper turned the ball over, leading to a Marcus Thornton steal and a Kenny Gaines ferocious dunk to pull Georgia within one point at 80-79 with 56 seconds remaining.
On Temple’s next possession, Will Cummings was off on an arrant runner with the shot clock winding down. Brandon Morris corralled the rebound and instead of letting the clock burn, Charles Mann penetrated the lane and laid it in with ease to give Georgia its first lead since the 10:24 mark in the first half.
With 18 seconds left, Cummings came right back off a feed from Quenton DeCosey, rose up and knocked down a cold blooded 3-pointer from the left wing to give Temple an 83-81 advantage.
Georgia would have one more opportunity to tie or take the lead, but Donte’ Williams attempted an ill-advised trey from NBA range, missing badly, and the Owls escaped with victory, moving to 2-3 on the season.
Inside the box score
Pepper recorded a career high 22 points on 8-15 shooting, including a 5-9 mark from downtown. All five of Peppers 3-pointers came in the first half. Pepper also pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists.
After scoring a career best 22 points on Thursday night in a loss to Clemson, Cummings scored 17 points, but non bigger than his game winning triple.
DeCosey scored 15 points on 5-14 shooting and Anthony Lee recorded 8 points and five rebounds.
Junior forward Jimmy McDonnell got his first career start and first minutes of the season in place of freshman Mark Williams, but did not record a point.
Sophomore Daniel Dingle put up his best game to date. The guard/forward has struggled to start the season, but scored 12 points on 3-4 shooting.
Freshman guard Josh Brown saw 14 minutes and knocked down both of his attempts from the field for 5 points. Fellow freshman forward Mark Williams rounded out the scoring with 4 points of his own.
For the game the Owls shot 28-56 from the floor, including an 11-20 mark from behind the arc.
Georgia shot 50 percent from the field, but connected on just 3-10 attempts from 3-point range.
Sophomore Kenny Gaines led the Bulldogs with 21 points.