This is the University of Massachusetts' predicament. On Sunday, the fifth-ranked Minutemen clawed and scrapped to a 16-point win over Louisville, their second straight decisive victory. Last night at Temple, UMass abandoned that approach, replacing it with the sluggish, error-filled effort that in recent weeks has spelled trouble and losses.
Temple led by as many as 15 points in both halves, then held off UMass rallies to claim a 72-63 upset before a McGonigle Hall sellout crowd of 3,900 that stormed the court in celebration afterward.
Temple (16-8, 9-5) snapped a six-game losing streak against UMass. The Owls were led by freshman guard Johnny Miller (25 points) and senior guard Rick Brunson of Salem, Mass. (21 points, 7 assists). The younger, smaller Owls came up with key baskets throughout, draining 10 3-pointers and allowing UMass to lead just once, 33-32 with 19:48 left.