PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaric Murray had a record-breaking performance in his home city, scoring a career-high 48 points to lead Texas Southern to a last-second 90-89 upset win over Temple on Wednesday.
Madarious Gibbs hit two free throws with 6.4 seconds left to put Texas Southern on top, just nine seconds after Anthony Lee gave Temple its first lead of the game with a pair of free throws.
Dalton Pepper scored on a rebound putback just after time expired, and the visiting Tigers’ bench erupted in celebration after the official review determined it came after the buzzer.
Murray, a Philadelphia native and former La Salle University standout, set the single-game high scoring mark for Division I basketball this season. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky scored 43 Nov. 19.
Murray also set the all-time marks for points scored against Temple and points scored at the Liacouras Center, Temple’s home arena which opened in 1997.
He shot 20 for 28 from the field and made some critical baskets down the stretch to help Texas Southern (4-7) win for just the second time in their last nine games.
Quinton DeCosey led Temple (4-5) with 19 points. Anthony Lee finished with 18 and Will Cummings had 16 for the Owls.
Playing for his third college, Murray came into Wednesday’s game averaging 22.2 points per game, tied for 13th in the nation. The talented big man previously played two seasons for La Salle (2009-11) and one at West Virginia (2012-13) but ran into trouble with his coaches and the law, before opting to finish his college career as a graduate student under Mike Davis at Texas Southern.
Murray played five games against Temple during his time with La Salle, averaging 16.4 points per contest. All were losses.
He made sure his last game against the Owls wouldn’t go down the same road.
After Temple’s Dalton Pepper had a steal and a dunk to cut Texas Southern’s lead to 83-82 with just over one minute remaining, Murray split a double-team and scored inside to put the Tigers back up three.
Following a Temple turnover on the other end, D’Angelo Scott made one free throw and Murray rebounded his second miss to score a putback basket to give the Tigers an 88-82 lead with 47 seconds left.
But spurred by a Will Cummings three-pointer and a Daniel Dingle putback, the Owls scored the next seven points to take the lead with 15.6 seconds left.
The Tigers stormed out of the gates to start the second half, going on an 18-7 run to take a 63-49 lead with 14:34 left.
Murray hit a transition layup to give Texas Southern a 69-56 lead with 12:27 left and buried a three-pointer that hit the front rim before swishing through to put the Tigers ahead 72-62 with 10 minutes remaining.
Texas Southern, the defending SWAC regular-season champs and the preseason favorite to win this year’s league title, jumped out to a 16-8 lead and led for most of the first half against its American Athletic Conference hosts.
Temple, which had been idle for the past 11 days, used a buzzer-beater from Pepper to slice Texas Southern’s lead to 45-42 at halftime. Both teams shot over 60 percent in the first half.
Wednesday’s game marked the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
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