Men's Basketball: Huskies blow 12-point lead in road loss to Owls

Temple's Obi Enechionyia, top left, and UConn's Shonn Miller (32) scramble for a loose ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2016. (Elizabeth Robertson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

UConn has been playing great defense for the past 10 games. They are one of the best defensive teams in the country, but on Thursday, it was Temple’s defense that stifled the Huskies late in the game. And UConn didn’t help themselves on offense, either.

Temple ended the game on a 21-4 run and defeated UConn 63-58 to sweep the season series between the two schools. The Owls won both games against the Huskies last season, too.

The Huskies blew a 12-point lead with 6:42 left. It was the largest blown lead by UConn this season. Previously, the high was 11 points at Tulsa, the last time the Huskies lost on the road before Thursday night.

Quenton DeCosey led Temple with 23 points, including scoring the team’s last nine points. DeCosey cashed in on five free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Owls.

UConn stretched its lead to 12 points, thanks to making seven of its first 15 shots in the second half. Temple made just four of their first 16. But then the Huskies struggled to find rhythm on the offensive end. UConn had some rough offensive possessions down the stretch, including five turnovers in the last five minutes.

Temple took the lead for good when DeCosey made a circus layup that he was fouled on. He made the free throw and two other free throws 40 seconds later to put the Owls up 61-58.

Down by three, and a chance to tie the game, Sterling Gibbs inbounded the ball to Rodney Purvis in the backcourt, but as Purvis brought the ball up past midcourt. he was whistled for a double dribble.

DeCosey made two free throws to put the Owls up 63-58. On the ensuing inbounds, Jalen Adams tried a behind-the-back pass that went out-of-bounds.

Shonn Miller led UConn with 15 points. Daniel Hamilton continued his solid play as of late with nine points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Purvis scored 10 points in the first half, but ended the game with 12.

Both teams started the game slow. UConn only made one of its first six shots. Purvis came off the bench and provided the Huskies with an instant spark. He made his first shot and the Huskies started two of nine from the floor. Temple started three of nine.

Purvis continued to pace the Huskies as the first half went along. He made three of the first five shots and had eight points in the first 9:48.

The Huskies went on a 9-0 run for a 16-10 lead, but then back-to-back threes from Devin Coleman and DeCosey tied the game at 16. Temple closed the half on a 9-2 run. DeCosey hit a step back jumper to give the Owls a lead at the half, 31-29.

Daniel Dingle scored 15 points, including four of five from three. Jaylen Bond score eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Temple shot 38 percent from the field and UConn shot 39 percent. The Owls, the conference’s leader in threes made per game (7.8), made nine of 22 and that was a big reason why they were able to comeback.


Matt Zampini is sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.zampini@uconn.edu. He tweets @Matt_Zamp.