ATLANTIC CITY – Midway through overtime, Davidson was in the midst of a 7-0 run. The Owls had been held scoreless in the extra period after a potential game-winning Shizz Alston Jr. jumper rimmed out as time expired in regulation.
The Owls finished the final 2:30 of overtime on a 9-2 comeback, capped off by a Quinton Rose steal and breakaway dunk with 3.2 seconds left, making Saturday night’s game an instant classic.
“It felt like an NCAA Tournament game,” Owls head coach Fran Dunphy said.
Rose finished the game with 18 points on 8-17 (2-5) shooting and four assists. The junior guard also finished with seven of the Owls 13 turnovers.
Perhaps bigger than the game winning dunk was the shot Rose hit just over a minute prior. With 1:18 left in Overtime and the Owls down six, Rose banked in a corner three to cut the Owls lead to one possession.
“We needed a timely shot if we were going to come back and win,” Rose said. “It wasn’t what I was trying to do but I’ll take it.”
The Owls won despite shooting worse from the field, from three and from the foul line than Davidson did. Temple particularly struggled from the foul line, shooting 53.8 percent, nearly 20 percent lower than their season mark of 73 percent.
The Owls were lead by Alston Jr. The senior guard scored 24 points on 9-17 (5-11) to go along with a career high 11 assists, earning him the game MVP honors.
“This was our biggest win since beating Wichita State last year,” Alston Jr. said. “This is probably the most I’ve been tired in four years.”
Davidson was lead by their freshman guard Luke Frampton, who also dropped 24 points, on 8-9 (7-8) shooting. Saturday nights game was a career high scoring night for Frampton, who is averaging just 8.3 points per game this season.
Also scoring a career high was sophomore forward J.P. Moorman II, who contributed with 14 points on 5-8 (1-2) and seven rebounds for the Owls, including two second half dunks and the game tying three with under a minute left in regulation.
Moorman played 27 minutes for just the second time this year, largely in part to the fact that senior big man Ernest Aflakpui was in foul trouble for much of the game, causing Dunphy to play a small ball lineup.
“We usually have the footspeed advantage when we play small ball,” Moorman II said. “It also helps when you have good players like [Alston Jr.] setting you up.”
With the win, the Owls improve to 9-2 on the season and have a week off to prepare for its final game of 2018, a matchup against Drexel at the Palestra next Saturday.
“Wins are hard to come by,” Dunphy said. “We came back to force overtime and we came back from down seven in overtime, this was a big win for us moving forward.”