The Temple Owls ruined Larry Brown's latest homecoming.
Playing without injured starter Anthony Lee, Temple managed to pull off a 71-64 upset of No. 23 SMU on Sunday at the Liacouras Center.
The win is Temple's first over a Top 25 opponent since March 10 of last year, when Temple took down No. 21 VCU in the final game of the regular season.
The Owls were previously 0-5 against the Top 25 this season. Temple has now beaten at least one top-25 team in each of the last seven seasons.
The win snaps a four-game Temple losing streak, advances the Owls to 7-17 overall and 2-10 in the American, and gives them just their second win of 2014. The Owls were 1-12 since the turn of the calendar, having beaten only Rutgers.
SMU, meanwhile, drops to 20-6 and 9-4. All six of the Mustangs' losses have come on the road.
Dalton Pepper wasn't exactly efficient -- going 9 for 19 from the floor and 2 of 9 from three -- but he did finish with a game-high 24 points.
Playing a career-high 25 minutes in place of the injured Lee, sophomore center Devontae Watson scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds.
For SMU, Philly native and former Villanova Wildcat Markus Kennedy put up a team-high 18 points.
Lee, the leading rebounder in the American, did not play Sunday with an injury to his left knee.
Lee sustained the injury midway through the second half of Temple's loss to Louisville Friday night and did not return.
On Sunday, with his left knee in a brace, Lee was in uniform but did not take the floor. He was replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Mark Williams.
The old Coach Brown
Sunday marked the first time Brown coached a game in Philadelphia since the 2009-10 NBA season, when he was with the Charlotte Bobcats. The Sixers beat the Bobcats, 101-91, in Dec. 5, 2009. Brown was fired 17 days later. He took over at SMU on April 19, 2012.
Two members of the Sixers' 2001 Eastern Conference Championship team -- Eric Snow and George Lynch -- are assistant coaches on Brown's SMU staff.
Hooter the Owl's birthday
The social event of the season, Temple celebrated the birthday of its mascot, Hooter the Owl, on Sunday. Almost two dozen of his mascot friends were in attendance, including the Phillie Phanatic. Per usual, the winner of the mascot halftime basketball game -- the fans.
Believe it or not, the Owls are now 9-0 all-time on Hooter's birthday.
Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, local recycling spokesman Kirby Bucket was not part of the festivities. Perhaps he and Hooter had a falling out.
Temple continues its five-game stretch against teams currently ranked inside the Top 25. The Owls host No. 24 UConn on Thursday before visiting No. 20 Memphis on Feb. 22 and No. 13 Louisville on Feb. 17.