PHILADELPHIA — Delaware had a chance to do something its men’s basketball program hadn’t accomplished since 1963.
But Temple spoiled the moment for the Blue Hens, rallying from an 11-point second-half deficit to slip past Delaware, 75-74, at the Liacouras Center on Saturday night.
The Hens (4-3) were trying to beat the Owls for the first time in 58 years. Instead, they lost their 20th in a row to Temple (3-3), which now leads the all-time series, 38-6.
Delaware’s Jameer Nelson, Jr. missed a half-court shot at the final buzzer as the Hens let a five-point advantage slip away in the final 4:46.
“We battled,” said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “Temple made plays down the stretch.
“We’ve got to be able to execute in game situations a little better. We had key turnovers down the stretch that really hurt us. Our group believed we could win this game. We wanted to win this game.”
The Hens last led 67-66 on a basket by Dylan Painter with 2:23 remaining. Trailing 73-71, they had a chance to tie the game but Ryan Allen and Painter both missed shots in the paint with about 16 seconds on the clock.
A three-pointer by Kevin Anderson got Delaware back within 75-74 with five seconds left but it couldn’t get any closer. A key video review of a ball that went out of bounds in the final seconds kept possession with the Owls.
Anderson finished with a team-high 26 points after hitting 5-of-9 three-pointers. Painter added 21 points with Nelson collecting 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Khaalif netted a game-high 29 points for Temple.
The Owls finished with 17 offensive rebounds in the contest and forced Delaware into 17 turnovers. Temple scored 40 points in the paint.
“We weren’t tough enough down the stretch to be able to get this one,” said Ingelsby.
The Hens led 46-35 four minutes into the second half. Their advantage was still 65-60 when Anderson sank a three-pointer with 4:46 on the clock.
Delaware led for 27:04 of the 40-minute contest. Temple never led by more than six points in the game.