PHILADELPHIA — Temple responded to a first-half surge by East Carolina for a 76-64 American Athletic Conference win at The Liacouras Center on Saturday night.
From a 26-10 deficit with 10:43 left in the first half, the Pirates made a run to lead 32-30 at the break.
The Owls went ahead to stay at 38-36 on a jumper by Nate Pierre-Lewis with 17:55 to go. Temple extended the lead to 14 points, at 52-38, with 12:48 remaining.
Quinton Rose had 20 points as the Owls improved to 11-10 overall and 3-6 in the AAC.
Tremont Robinson-White paced ECU (9-13, 3-6) with 21 points.
“I thought we finished the first half the right way and made some plays, and then they shot 58 percent in the second half,” said Pirates coach Joe Dooley. “The real big problem was making threes.”
ECU was four for 17 from beyond the arc (23.5 percent) while Temple made 10 of 25 (40 percent).
The long-range disparity helped negate advantages for the Pirates in rebounding (33-30) and turnovers (11-14).
Tristen Newton had 13 points and six rebounds for ECU. Jayden Gardner had 11 points, 10 below his season average. Gardner didn’t score in the first 11 minutes but had eight in the flurry that put ECU ahead at intermission. Gardner had a team-high seven rebounds.
J.J, Miles had seven points for the Pirates before fouling out. Charles Coleman added six points and four rebounds.
J.P. Moorman II, Alani Moore II and Pierre-Lewis finished with 14 points each for the Owls, who will travel to ECU for a noon matchup on Feb. 23. The Pirates fell to 0-5 for games in Philadelphia in the series with Temple. ECU has won the last three in the series at home.
The Pirates are 8-4 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum this season and will host Central Florida on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Knights (11-10, 2-7) lost 64-48 at South Florida on Saturday.
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