Temple has won 7 of 8 games, tops East Carolina 85-74

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Shizz Alston Jr. scored 23 points with career-high tying seven 3-pointers, Quinton Rose added 19 points and Temple beat East Carolina 85-74 on Wednesday night.

Temple (14-3, 4-1 American) has won seven of its last eight games, including handing then-No. 17 Houston its first loss of the season.

Temple jumped out to a 21-2 lead — with nine points from Alston — but East Carolina pulled to 29-21 before trailing 37-23 at the break. Alston finished the half with 12 points on four 3-pointers. ECU made just 7 of 28 shots (25 percent) in the half.

ECU scored the first nine points of the second half to start a 16-4 run, pulling to 41-39, but Temple went on an 8-0 run to restore its multi-possession lead. Alston’s sixth 3-pointer made it 62-52 midway through the half and ECU didn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way.

Ernest Aflakpui had 12 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double this season for Temple. With his second 3-pointer of the night, Alston reached the 200-mark for his career.

Freshman Jayden Gardner, averaging a league-best 19.4 points per game, scored 27 points for East Carolina (8-9, 1-4), which has lost three straight. He has eclipsed the 20-point mark eight times this season.