Feb. 16, 2014
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Dalton Pepper scored 24 points and Temple defeated No. 23 SMU 71-64 on Sunday.
Playing without injured starter and leading rebounder in Anthony Lee, Temple (7-17, 2-10 American Athletic Conference) knocked a top-25 opponent for the first time since March 10 against No. 21 VCU. The Owls were 0-5 against the Top 25 this season, but have now beaten a ranked opponent in each of the last seven seasons.
The Mustangs (20-6, 9-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped at the end of what has been an eventful week for coach Larry Brown's team. It started with SMU entering the AP rankings for the first time in 29 years. The Mustangs had their game at Rutgers pushed back from Thursday to Friday because of a winter storm in the northeast.
They then made a short trip from Piscataway, N.J., to Philadelphia, and lost on the road for the sixth time this season.
The game also marked the return of Brown to Philadelphia, where he served as head coach of the NBA's 76ers from 1997-2003. Sunday was the first game Brown coached in Philadelphia since the 2009-10 NBA season, when he was with the Charlotte Bobcats. Former Sixers George Lynch and Eric Snow now serve as assistants on Brown's staff at SMU
Pepper, Temple's leading scorer, went 8 for 19 from the floor. Will Cummings and Quenton DeCosey each had 13 points and Mark Williams added 10.
SMU came into the game with the best rebounding margin in the conference, while Temple came in with the worst. But Temple managed to beat SMU 38-25 on the glass, scoring 15 second-chance points off 12 offensive boards.
After falling behind 11-2 early, Temple took a 34-30 lead into the half.
It was only the second time in the Owls' last 14 games they had a lead heading into the break. SMU did shoot 50 percent in the opening 20 minutes, but made 1 of 4 on 3-pointers as Temple went 6 for 13 from behind the arc. The Owls did commit seven turnovers in the first, but the Mustangs turned them into only four points.
As for Lee, he injured his left knee in Temple's loss to Louisville on Friday night. He was in uniform on Sunday, with his knee in a brace, but he did not take the floor.
He was replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Mark Williams. With Lee unable to go, sophomore big man Devontae Watson, who averages only 11.8 minutes per game, played a career-high 25, scoring eight points and pulling down eight rebounds.
The Mustangs return home for their next game on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when they host Houston at Moody Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air on ESPNews. The game is sold out.