Thursday, December 8, 2016

Temple upsets No. 19 WVU to win NIT Season Tip-Off

 Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (3) dribbles as West Virginia Mountaineers guard Teyvon Myers (0) defends during the first half of the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center.   (Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (3) dribbles as West Virginia Mountaineers guard Teyvon Myers (0) defends during the first half of the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center. (Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Brooklyn, N.Y.–Temple knocked off two Top 25 teams to win the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Owls came from behind to beat No. 25 Florida State on Thursday and hung on to beat No. 19 West Virginia 81-77 on Friday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (4-1) rallied behind Esa Ahmad in the second half to nearly overcome a 45-25 deficit but WVU was unable to finish.

Alani Moore II and Obi Enechionya made free throws with seconds remaining to hold off the Mountaineers.

Daxter Miles Jr. dropped a long three to pull WVU within two with 9:41 left to play. Myers tied the game at 62-all 25 seconds later.

Tarik Phillip put the Mountaineers ahead 65-64 when he hit two free throws. Ahmad extended that lead with a layup with 7:19 left.

But Temple answered when Enechionya hit a 3-pointer. WVU then turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions, leading to the final four free throws.

Enechionya led the Owls (4-2) with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Moore tallied 18 and Daniel Dingle had 15.
Ahmad scored 19 points. Teyvon Myers had 15 points. Nathan Adrian and Phillip both added 13 for the Mountaineers.
Brandon Watkins (20) hangs on to the ball against Temple.   (Photo Credit:WVUSports)

Brandon Watkins (20) hangs on to the ball against Temple.
(Photo Credit:WVUSports)

WVU began the game with a 7-0 run and looked as if it was on its way to another blowout but sloppy play led to a 15-4 Temple run.

Nothing could go right for Bob Huggins’ squad.
After committing their 10th turnover, a technical foul was called on Huggins and the Owls made both free throws to take a 35-20 lead with 3:58 left in the first half.
The Mountaineers made 11-of-18 from the charity stripe, the difference in the game.
WVU shot 43.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The Mountaineers forced 19 turnovers and had eight steals but they turned it over 16 times.

WVU returns to the Coliseum to face Manhattan on Monday at 7 p.m.

 

(Cover Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

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