PHILADELPHIA — Temple trailed East Carolina, 33-28, at the half before pulling away to a 73-58 American Athletic Conference win at the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night.
The Pirates had an early 15-5 advantage and were on top, 46-44, with 12:45 to go, but were outscored, 29-12, the rest of the way.
Temple made 26 of 31 at the free throw line compared to eight of 14 for ECU.
Damian Dunn, a former Kinston High School player, led the hosts with 22 points, including 16 of 18 foul shots.
“Fouls and turnovers were, obviously, a huge issue for us,” said Pirates coach Mike Schwartz on the ECU radio network.
The Pirates had 17 turnovers while Temple committed eight. The Owls had a 21-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
Khalif Battle had 20 points for the Owls (11-9, 5-2 AAC), who took a 59-57 victory in Greenville on Dec. 28.
“We did a good job of guarding the 3-point line,” Schwartz said after Temple went five of 23 from long range (21.7 percent).
ECU (10-10, 1-6) was led by Quintin Diboundje with 14 points. R.J. Felton scored 11 points. Benjamin Bayela had eight points.
Ludgy Debaut contributed seven points and six rebounds. Khlaib LaCount scored six points. Brandon Johnson’s line included five points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
The Pirates had a 41-29 rebounding advantage.
ECU was without leading scorer Javon Small (knee) for the second straight game.
The next action for the Pirates will be at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Tulsa (4-12, 0-5). The Golden Hurricane was topped, 79-76, in overtime by visiting Southern Methodist on Wednesday night.
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