Temple and UCF went for punch-for-punch in the final two minutes, as the Owls missed their final swing in a 71-69 loss Wednesday at the Liacouras Center.
Down by one with 20 seconds left, Temple fouled Tacko Fall to attempt a one-and-one. The 7-6 center, who is a 47 percent free throw shooter, missed a and Temple gained possession.
Temple had a chance to gain the lead on the ensuing possession out of the timeout, but Mark Williams missed a wide-open three-pointer from the wing.
The loss is Temple's fourth in five games and forces them to 14-15 on the year and 5-11 against AAC opponents. Meanwhile, UCF won for the third straight time to improve to 18-10 (9-7 AAC).
Temple head coach Fran Dunphy has only finished with a record under .500 twice since becoming the Owls’ head coach in 2006.
Midway through the second half, Matt Williams threw an elbow at Shizz Alston Jr. that left the Temple freshman on the floor and a bloody lip. Alston followed by getting in Williams' face as the refs separated the two from each other.
The refs ruled the elbow by Williams a basketball play and no foul was called.
Williams and Alston were involved in another scuffle at the scorer’s table after Alston got a steal. Williams shoved Alston and was called for his first personal foul as the two again had to be separated.
Inside the box score
• Fall finished the game with 14 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and two assists in the contest.
• After finishing the first half 0 for 3 from the field, Obi Enechionyia caught fire for the Owls by shooting 5 of 6 from downtown in the second half. The junior led the Owls in scoring with 17 points. He also had five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
• Temple shot 47.6 from beyond the arc. The Owls are 6-3 this season when they shoot ball 40 percent or better from three-point land.
• B.J. Taylor finished the game with 19 points, three rebounds and three assists. It's the 10th consecutive game he scored in double figures this season.
• Mark Williams scored 11 points on 5 of 11 shooting off the bench.
Temple's starting lineup
For the fourth straight game, Dunphy went with the same starting lineup featuring Damion Moore instead of Ernest Aflakpui and Quinton Rose instead of Alani Moore II.
The Owls are 1-3 with this lineup so far.
After scoring a career-high 11 points on 5 of 5 shooting against UConn on Sunday, Moore finished with two points against UCF.
Temple had a hard time avoiding the 7-6 big man, Fall, in the first half. Fall had six points, three rebounds and four blocks. But he also picked up two quick fouls, forcing him to the bench at the 4:23 mark.
While Fall watched from the bench, Temple's offense found some rhythm.
Temple went on a 15-3 run toward the end of the first half as UCF hit only two field goals in the final eight minutes of the frame.
Rose led the Owls with eight points in the first half, while Alston Jr. and Mark Williams each had seven points.
The Owls finished the first half shooting the ball 46.9 percent from the field. That tripled their amount of points in the first half the last time they faced UCF. They finished with only 11 points in the first half in their first meeting Dec. 31.
Temple will play its final home game of the season against Tulane on Saturday at noon.
UCF will face Cincinnati at the CFE Center Sunday at 3 p.m.