PHILADELPHIA -- Temple had played in three consecutive one-point games, and there was a thought that the Owls would get a much-needed breather against Duquesne.
But this team has played to the level of its competition all season, and it did again Thursday night as the Owls suffered their worst loss at the hands of the Dukes.
Derrick Colter made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to give Duquesne (8-16, 1-9 Atlantic 10) an 84-83 victory at Liacouras Center.
Dalton Pepper misfired on a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Owls (16-8, 5-5) saw their two-game winning streak snapped. The setback fractured Temple's slim hopes for an NCAA tournament at-large bid.
Temple coach Fran Dunphy recalled being asked about his team's prospects at the beginning of the season.
"I said I think we can be good; I don't think we can be great," said Dunphy. "It's proven to be a little bit prophetic. Although at this point we are a little bit too inconsistent to even be called good."
The Dukes are recognized as the league's worst team. They came into the matchup with an 11-game losing streak. They also had an 0-8 record against the Owls at Liacouras Center.
Duquesne shot 63 percent in the first half and 49.1 percent for the game. Freshman forward Quevyn Winters made 8 of 9 shots -- including all five 3-pointers -- to finish with a career-high 22 points. Colter made 9 of 10 free throws to finish with 17 points. He also had 6 assists and 4 steals to go with 7 turnovers.
Despite their performance, the Owls were in position to squeak out the victory thanks to Khalif Wyatt, who had career highs with 35 points and six steals.
Wyatt's biggest points came when he converted a 3-point play with 7.4 seconds left to give the Owls an 83-82 lead. But Pepper was called for fouling Colter at the opposite end. Colter shot two free throws because Duquesne was in the double bonus.
"I think Dalton Pepper played good defense," Wyatt said. "I don't think that was a call that should have been made at that point in the game, but that's what the ref saw. Good call, I guess."mobilehome - duquesnesports
First Published February 15, 2013 5:00 AM