Pepper's career-high 24 leads Temple to 87-66 win
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP)
Pepper's previous mark came just two days ago here in an 83-81 win over Georgia. He kept up that scoring touch against UAB, making 10 of 14 for the Owls (3-3). Quenton DeCosey had 18 points for Temple, which has won two straight after breaking a three-game losing streak in the win against the Bulldogs on Friday night.
The Owls trailed 43-41 early in the second half when they began a 36-13 run to take control.
UAB (4-2) falls for the second time at TD Arena, losing a 97-94 double-overtime heartbreak to No. 19 New Mexico in its tournament opener Thursday.
C.J. Washington had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers.
UAB's Chad Frazier scored 34 and 32 points in his first two tournament games, but struggled against Temple's defense and finished with 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
Will Cummings scored 17 points and Anthony Lee added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Owls.
Pepper's layup with 6:18 left gave Temple its largest lead at 77-56. The Blazers cut that to 12 points down the stretch, but got no closer.
UAB and Temple each lost opening-round games here and bounced back with victories on Friday.
The Blazers held a six-point lead on No. 19 New Mexico in regulation and a five-point lead on the Lobos in the first overtime before falling 97-94 in two extra periods. Instead of hanging their heads, the Blazers rallied late to put away Nebraska and reach the fifth-place game.
Temple was stung by Clemson and its sizeable crowd of supporters at TD Arena on Thursday night. Again, the Owls dug in Friday to overcome a late Georgia rally and pick up a dramatic victory.
Temple led the Bulldogs by 13 points at the half, but were down 81-80 with 18.8 seconds left on Charles Mann's driving bucket. Owls guard Cummings answered back quickly with a 3-pointer with seven seconds to go that lifted his team to an 83-81 victory.
UAB and Temple each wanted to carry over the momentum from those wins into this one. And while it figured to be a matchup of high-scoring guards in UAB's Frazier and Temple's Cummings, neither made a big impact early on.
Frazier had only one basket and 5 points in the opening half.
Cummings picked up two fouls in the first five minutes and spent much of the period on the bench. He also had 5 points the first 20 minutes.
The Owls were up 39-36 on a jumper by Mark Williams with under two minutes left, but Jordan Swing hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 39 at the half.