Instant Replay: Temple 89, Charlotte 88

Instant Replay: Temple 89, Charlotte 88

February 6, 2013, 9:45 pm
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More bad defense, another struggle down the stretch, and another win for the Temple Owls.


Temple allowed its second-highest point total of the season, scored its own highest and just managed to best Charlotte in an 89-88 win at the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night.

Four Owls -- Jake O'Brien, Khalif Wyatt, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and Dalton Pepper -- finished in double-figures, as O'Brien set a new season high with 22 points.

The win improved Temple to 15-7 overall and pulled them back even in the Atlantic 10 at 4-4.

Charlotte, meanwhile, lost for just the fifth time this season but the third time in conference play. The 49ers are now 17-5 overall and a 5-3 in the A-10.

Turning point
Temple amassed its largest second-half lead, up 12, 83-71, with 3:39 remaining, and the game appeared wrapped up.

That was before Charlotte ripped off a 14-4 run to cut the Temple lead to 88-85 with 27 seconds left.

Khalif Wyatt made a free throw, after Hollis-Jefferson had missed two, to put Temple ahead by four with eight seconds to play.

A three-pointer at the buzzer by Charlotte's Henry Pierria made it an 89-88 final. Temple's Scootie Randall, with his team up four, jumped to defend the three. He's lucky he didn't foul Pierria.

O'Brien scored a season-high 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting. He made all five of his attempts from the field in the first half and finished 4 of 5 from three.

Pepper also recorded a season high with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting. The transfer guard came into Wednesday night shooting just a miserable 24.2 percent on the season and had not made three or more shots in a game since Temple's win over Bowling Green on Dec. 30.

Wyatt's game-high 25 points gave him his 10th performance of 20 or more this season.

Charlotte forward Chris Braswell led the 49ers with a season-high 23 points.

Season highs were easy to come by. Defense was optional.

Inside the box score
• Temple and Charlotte entered the break tied 41-41. It was the most points Temple had scored in a first half this season and the second-most it had given up. The Owls surrendered 46 to No. 2 Duke on Dec. 8.

• By game's end, Temple set a new season-high for points scored and gave up its second-most points of the season.

• Both teams shot 50 percent or better in the first half, with Charlotte making 15 of 26 attempts (57.7 percent) and Temple making 16 of 32. At game's end, both teams remained over 50 percent. Charlotte finished 32 of 53 as a team (60.4 percent).

• Coming into the game, Charlotte ranked 343rd out of 347 Division I team's in three-point percentage, making just 3.5 of their 13 attempts per game (25.9 percent). On Wednesday, Charlotte made their first two and finished 7 of 10 behind the arc. Mind blowing.

Next up
Temple travels to Dayton this Saturday for a rare, morning tipoff with the Flyers at 11 a.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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