Temple Avoids Upset, Defeating South Florida in Overtime

Written by: Adrian Maghacot

Photo by: Mariah Speller

After Bulls graduate guard Tyler Harris missed a last-second three-pointer, Temple (13-9, 7-2 American Athletic Conference) defeated South Florida (9-12, 2-6 AAC) 79-76 at The Liacouras Center.

Coming off of a stunning win against No. 1 Houston on Sunday, the Owls battled for their first overtime win since defeating Vanderbilt December 7, 2021.

“Definitely wasn’t our best performance off a big win,” guard Damian Dunn said, “and we could’ve come more electric. Really the whole 45 minutes; we just found a way to win.”

The Owls were led by guard Khalif Battle, who scored 25 points on 9-18 shooting and gave out two assists.

Battle had one of his better shooting performances of the season in the win against the Bulls, shooting 50% from the field. In his previous four performances, the Butler transfer was averaging just 28% from the field.

This was the first game that featured Temple sophomore forward Jamille Reynolds since he suffered a thumb injury in the Owls’ loss to Penn December 10. Reynolds finished the game with two points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Both teams were unable to control the momentum of the first half, as there were four lead changes, six ties, and no lead bigger than five points. This was due mostly to inefficient shooting, as Temple and South Florida had a 43% shooting percentage and 17 combined turnovers. 

With 11 seconds left in the first half, both teams ended strong with Dunn hitting a three, followed by Harris making a step-back buzzer-beater to tie it at 34 going into halftime.

The second half was very similar, but both teams were getting much more aggressive, with Temple committing eight fouls and South Florida having seven. 

However, the Owls struggled late in the game, failing to score in the final 2:05 of play, after a Battle three-pointer put the Owls at 70.

Battle led most of the Owls’ action in overtime, contributing seven of the team’s nine points. However, the Bulls had multiple opportunities to tie or win the game, but after Harris missed a layup and three-pointer in under 25 seconds, they were unable to force double overtime.

“I think our 12 is great, but especially with Jahlil [White],” sophomore forward Nick Jourdain said. “He said we’re gonna get this stop and I’m not gonna lie, he brought confidence to all of us.”

Amidst the high scoring, both teams’ benches contributed to a lot of their respective points. Temple scored 42 points off the bench, with Dunn and Battle contributing to most of the action, and South Florida graduate forward Keyshawn Bryant scored 21 of the USF bench’s 34 points. 

In addition to Battle’s 25 points, Dunn contributed 15 alongside a season-high seven rebounds. 

Sophomore guard Hysier Miller played a critical role for the Owls, adding nine points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Bryant was South Florida’s leading scorer, as he finished with a season-high 21 points. Junior center and third-leading rebounder in the AAC Russel Tchewa scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards.

The Owls will travel to Orlando to face off against UCF (13-7, 4-4 AAC) at the Addition Financial Arena on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 12 p.m.


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