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A memorable homecoming for Temple's Daniel Dingle

NEW YORK -- Temple redshirt senior swingman Daniel Dingle is from the Bronx and starred in high school at St. Raymond's, so he always looks forward to returning home to play basketball.

Dingle's trip home to end last season wasn't too memorable, but his return this holiday weekend had a storybook script.

Last season, Temple's season ended with a 72-70 overtime loss to Iowa in the Owls opening NCAA Tournament game at the Barclays Center.

The return this year to the Barclays Center included wins over two ranked teams as the Owls won the championship of the NIT Season Tip Off.

On Thanksgiving, the Owls overcame an 18-point second half deficit to beat No. 25 Florida State, 89-86, and the next day they beat No. 19 West Virginia, 81-77.

"Last time we were in the Barclays, we didn't come out with a win," Dingle said. "We lost to Iowa, so I was thinking about that a lot and I definitely wanted to go out there and compete and win."

The 6-foot-7 Dingle, who made the all-tournament team, had an up and down game against West Virginia. He finished with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists and also hit 3 of 5 from beyond the arc, but also had eight of Temple's 19 turnovers.

When talking about dealing with the relentless West Virginia press, Dingle spared no feelings, including his own.

"That was  a tough task, as you can see I had eight turnovers," he said, eliciting laugher. "We did a good job and guys stepped up and handled the pressure."

And pressure it was.

"It was like I was seeing 10 guys," he said.

Temple led by 20 points at halftime, then trailed by as many as three with 7:34 left but the Owls kept their poise and are now 4-2, with two impressive resume wins.

Dingle showed leadership down the stretch. In the last five minutes, when Temple outscored West Virginia, 8-6, Dingle had three points, an assist, a rebound and a blocked shot. All told, he scored nine of his 15 points in the second half.

He won't savor this one too long, knowing that the Owls visit St. Joseph's on Wednesday. Last year the Hawks won a 66-65 overtime decision at Temple.

"I had eight turnovers but did good enough for us to win," he said. "I am very excited and am looking forward to St. Joe's next week."