ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.–The Owls entered the Atlantic Ten Conference Tournament with the top seed and a No. 24 ranking, but the Massachusetts Minutemen played disruptive basketball as the eight-seeded underdogs.
The Minutemen (22-10, 10-7 A-10) trailed by five points at half, 36-31, but came out in the second half on a 15-0 run in the first five minutes to take a 46-36 lead. Sophomore guard Jesse Morgan scored seven of those points during that stretch and finished with game-high 21 points.
The Owls’ loss marked just the second time in 20 games this season they lost after holding a lead at halftime.
Temple remained close down the stretch and reclaimed a lead with just under nine minutes remaining after redshirt-freshman forward Anthony Lee knocked down two free throws to give the Owls a 58-57 advantage. Lee ended up with eight points, four rebounds and three blocks in the game.
Senior guard Juan Fernandez made a three-pointer to extend the Owls lead to four points–their largest lead of the half–after Lee blocked a shot attempt by UMass’ junior forward Terrell Vinson on the other end.
With five minutes remaining, UMass regained the lead at 65-64 and held on to win its first A-10 Tournament quarterfinal game since 2001.
Listen to post-game audio from UMass players, sophomore guard Chaz Williams, Morgan, redshirt-senior Sean Carter and coach Derek Kellogg, and Temple players, redshirt-senior guard Ramone Moore, Fernandez and coach Fran Dunphy.
Williams, Morgan, Carter, Kellogg
Moore, Fernandez, Dunphy
Check back with The Temple News later for a full game recap.