Temple's wild 86-76 double-overtime victory against Tulane on Saturday snapped a three-game losing streak (see Instant Replay).
The win, however, was not easy after Tulane's Malik Morgan hit a deep three as time expired to force a second overtime.
"Not again," Temple senior forward Daniel Dingle said. "We're not leaving this gym until we get a win."
Temple's mistake of not picking Morgan up after two made free throws cost the Owls and was not the plan for head coach Fran Dunphy.
"We said we wanna pick them up as soon as we can and not allow a go-by," Dunphy said. "If someone's going by you, chest them, but don't let them get a full head of steam going towards the basket and Shizz (Alston Jr.) kind of backed off him. Obviously, Morgan made a great shot."
Temple (15-15, 6-11 AAC) received a big lift from its seniors on Senior Day, as Dingle and forward Mark Williams combined for 33 points and 14 points against the Green Wave (5-23, 2-14 AAC).
Williams' play in the waning moments of regulation and throughout overtime also showed his savvy as a veteran on this team. Down 65-63 with 11 seconds left, Alston Jr. missed a jump shot, but Williams tapped the ball back to Alston Jr., who put in a layup to tie the game at 65.
"I couldn't get it, so I seen him and I just tipped it," Williams said. "He grabbed it and it was just right place at the right time."
To start overtime, Williams scored two quick buckets after an early Tulane free throw to take 69-66 lead with 2:51 left. The Owls and Green Wave went back and forth in the first overtime period, which ultimately culminated in a 71-71 tie and another overtime.
At the start of the second overtime period, it was all Owls. They scored seven quick points, which included a dunk by freshman Quinton Rose to start the period, a three pointer from Alston Jr. (who had 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists) off a Tulane miss and block-dunk sequence from junior forward Obi Enechionyia. The 78-71 lead with 3:20 left helped spark a 15-5 run Temple used to close the game.
At the 2:28 mark in the second overtime period, Williams fouled out, and walked off the Liacouras Center floor for the final time in a Temple uniform, inciting a standing ovation.
"I love my teammates, I love these guys," Williams said, who finished with 20 points and six rebounds. "[Standing ovation] was like the last time, it's like you moved out of your childhood house."
Because it was Senior Day, the Owls started all of their seniors, including Mike Robbins, who, in his first career start, scored seven points during a career-high 22 minutes.
Robbins provided Temple a spark early, scoring all seven of his points in a 17-4 Temple start in the first 4:25 of the game, including a baseline reverse layup that got the Owls' faithful on their feet.
"It felt good to get back out there and make some shots," Robbins said. "The crowd was terrific. After the game everybody thanked me for all my hard work."
After losing three straight games, the Owls recognized that this was a must-win game, as they look to finish the season strong.
"We needed to win and we did, we found a way to win," Dunphy said.
"This game meant a lot to us as a whole," Dingle said "Now we're playing USF next [and then the] conference tournament and hopefully this win gives us some momentum. Right now, we're not worried about the wins and losses, what our record says."