Temple pulls ahead to beat Saint Joseph's 77-69
Dalton Pepper and Will Cummings had 16 points apiece to pace Temple (4-3), which won its third straight. Lee added 11 rebounds and Cummings had seven assists.
Neither team led by more than five points until late in the game in the back-and-forth contest that was the 157th between the schools. The Owls increased their lead in the series to 89-67.
Langston Galloway scored 24 points to pace four Hawks (4-3) in double-figures.
Galloway's 3-pointer with 4:20 left tied the game at 65 and capped a stretch in which the St. Joe's guard scored 11 of the team's 14 points. But Galloway couldn't convert on a 3-pointer on two consecutive St. Joe's possessions that would've given the Hawks the lead, and Lee took over.
The Temple center scored on a layup with 2:11 left to make it 67-65. After a free throw from Quenton DeCosey, Lee made another layup to help Temple match its largest lead of the game to that point, 70-65 with 1:04 left.
It was the first time in 67 years the game was played between nonconference foes, as the Owls left the Atlantic 10 for the American Athletic Conference this season.
Ronald Roberts had 13 points for St. Joe's, DeAndre Bembry scored 12 and Halil Kanacevic added 11.
The teams continued to trade baskets early in the second half similar to the opening 20 minutes. The Owls trailed 51-48 after Kanacevic's drive with 13:11 left before running off eight straight points to match their biggest lead to that point, 56-51, with 10:35 remaining.
Temple twice more got the advantage to five points, 62-57 with 7:41 left and 65-60 with 5:44 to play. But St. Joe's clawed back each time. St. Joe's tied it at 65 on Galloway's 3-pointer with 4:20 remaining.
Both teams experienced foul trouble, with the Hawks losing Kanacevic with 13 minutes left due to four fouls. Kanacevic returned with seven minutes remaining. Lee picked up three fouls early in the second half.
Neither team led by more than five points in a back-and-forth first half, with the Owls scoring the last five points of the half in the last 1:06 to enter the break 39-34.
Philadelphia 76ers star Michael Carter-Williams watched from the bench, alongside teammate and former Temple standout Lavoy Allen and Sixers first-round pick Nerlen Noels.