BROOKLYN — A split second before the overtime buzzer sounded, Iowa forward Adam Woodbury tipped a missed shot into the bucket and the eruption of the Barclays Center encapsulated only half the crowd. The other half was forced to accept defeat. Temple lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 74-72.
The Hawkeyes will dance on, and the Owls will return to Broad Street, where there will hang up their dancing shoes for this season, and the seniors will hang them up for good.
“You love them like crazy, and then the seniors are gone. And you won’t see them much after this…its hurts” said Temple head coach Fran Dunphy.
Temple did have a chance to take the lead with 22 seconds remaining in overtime when a foul sent forward Dan Dingle to the stripe. He opted to shoot with his left hand due to an injury and missed the one-and-one. Iowa rebounded.
When asked if it were his or Coach Dunphy’s decision to shoot left-handed, Dingle responded “It was mine.”
Iowa then elapsed the remainder of the clock before Mike Gesell missed a shot with two second
s left. Woodbury rebounded that shot, and while controversy remains as to whether he pushed off Obi Enechionyia to win the rebound, he ultimately made the buzzer beater that won the game.
For Dunphy, however, that controversy cannot change the end result. “The reality is, it doesn’t matter. They got the rebound and put it back in.”
In 45 minutes of basketball, the Hawkeyes committed only three turnovers. Temple committed 12. With a relatively clean game in the rearview mirror and a clean slate going into the round of 32.
With 2.1 seconds to play in regular time, Temple was down 3 points and senior guard Quenton DeCosey pulled up for a hero shot. He was fouled and had an equal number of shots to tie the game. He hit all the all of them, forcing the game to overtime.
“Only thing I was thinking was let me take my time make the first one, make the second one, make the last one” said Decosey.
“I was proud of our guys for the non-quit factor in our guys. [I’m] obviously disappointed we will not play on Sunday” said Dunphy.
The Owls’ dreams of a run in the NCAA tournament will have to wait another year, however, as the 2015-2016 basketball season has officially come to an end, but Temple’s seniors did not let that dream fade without a fight.
Prior to Friday’s contest at the Barclay’s Center, the Owls had only lost one game this season when senior guard DeCosey scored more than 15 points. He pulled his weight on the offensive end scoring 26, which was good enough to lead all scorers. Senior forward Jaylen Bond posted his 12th double-double of the season with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
While DeCosey’s Temple career is over, he says he will still remember the lessons that Coach Dunphy taught him as an Owl.
“Don’t take anything for granted. Always think about others. Don’t think about yourself.”