EAST CAROLINA- After a sloppy game, both Temple and East Carolina needed a little bit of luck to come out victorious.
Unfortunately for the Owls, it went the way of the Pirates.
Tied at 61 all with 10 seconds to play, Prince Williams threw up and missed a wild shot in the lane. The ball caromed out near the three-point line, but was deflected right into the hands of Kentrell Barkley. He drove right past the Owls who had started to run the floor, laid it in and drew a foul, as the fans at Minges Coliseum erupted. Barkley made the free throw, and ECU escaped with a 64-61 victory.
The wild sequence came just seconds after senior Josh Brown hit two clutch free throws to tie the score. Brown had another solid game with seven points, four rebounds and three assists.
The upset snapped Temple’s momentum from their three game winning streak. Just a few days removed from taking down #8 SMU at home, the Owls were unable to put any solid stretches of play together. Although they outrebounded ECU, the team turned the ball over 14 times and shot just 39.7% from the field. At one point late in the second half, the Owls failed to score for over six minutes, allowing ECU to stay in the game. Temple’s 61 points was the fourth lowest on the season.
Leading the way for Owls was the duo of Quenton DeCosey and Obi Enechionyia. DeCosey notched his third double-double of year with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also came up with they key steal leading to Brown’s tying free throws.
Enechionyia had his best game in over a month. He scored his highest point total in over a month, notching 18 with five rebounds. He was 3/6 on three-pointers as well.
Freshman Ernest Aflakpui was effective again in the starting role. He finished with eight points and 10 rebounds before sitting out for much of the second half. Devin Coleman, one game removed from the show he put on against ECU, added eight points on 2/5 three point shooting. As a group, the Owls were 9 of 23 from beyond the arc.
Carrying ECU down the stretch was the combination of Prince Williams, B.J. Tyson, and Barkley. The three combined to score 45 of ECU’s 64 points.
This was the Owl’s fifth loss this year by five or less points. Next up for Temple is another one on the road. Temple will head down to play USF (5-17) in the Sunshine State on Saturday.