PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Obi Enechionyia hit two free throws with 18.1 seconds left in overtime, and Temple beat No. 16 Wichita State 81-79 on Thursday night.
Quinton Rose scored 19 points for the Owls (12-10, 4-6 American Athletic Conference), and Josh Brown had 15. Shizz Alston Jr. shook off a poor shooting performance to score 12 points, including the tying bucket at the end of regulation.
Enechioinyia was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound. Markis McDuffie then missed a 3 at the other end, and the rebound caromed into the backcourt as time expired and Temple fans stormed the floor.
The Owls earned another big win alongside upsets of Clemson and Auburn early in the season.
Shaquille Morris had 24 points and nine rebounds and Austin Reaves added 20 points for the Shockers (17-5, 7-3), who have dropped three of five.
Alston, who was just 5 of 22 from the field, made a driving layup in traffic with 6.8 seconds left in regulation. Zach Brown then missed a corner 3 for Wichita State as time expired.
The Shockers led by as many as 12 points in first half, but nine second-half turnovers and Temple’s inspired play produced a comeback, with Alston tying it with a fadeaway with 2:15 left.
Morris barely beat the shot clock with a shot in the lane on the ensuing possession. But after an empty possession by each team, Alston delivered.
Temple entered with an odd resume – just a game above .500 and yet ranked No. 44 in the RPI -thanks to a brutal schedule and several quality wins.
And the Owls gave the Shockers all they could handle, despite Morris’ big night. The rugged big man eclipsed 1,000 career points in the second half and his dunk with 2:19 left in overtime made it 79-74.
Wichita State, which tumbled in the rankings after consecutive losses last month, didn’t score again despite 47-37 rebounding edge.
Wichita State: The Shockers are learning the ropes in their first season in the AAC. Too many turnovers (16, with 10 after halftime) and 1-of-10 shooting from 3-point range in the second half were too much to overcome.
Temple: The record doesn’t show it, but the Owls can make a case for the NCAA Tournament thanks to their tough schedule, strong RPI and several big wins. A strong finish would put them in consideration despite the 10 losses.
McDuffie scored 11 points as his sister sat behind the opposing bench. Sierra is in her second season as a graduate manager for Temple. She played basketball at Division II Felician in New Jersey.
ELITE 8 MEMORIES
Temple at halftime honored the Mark Macon-led team that reached the East Region final 30 years ago before falling to Duke.
Wichita State: At Memphis on Tuesday night.
Temple: At Tulane on Sunday.