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Brown comes through again in Temple's NIT win

While Will Cummings was the main headliner with 30 points in Wednesday's 73-67 opening NIT win over visiting Bucknell, sophomore guard Josh Brown certainly played a vital role.

When Temple was struggling to find its way, Brown gave the Owls a major lift off the bench in both halves.

Brown scored 11 points, shooting 4 of 8 from the field, 1 of 2 from beyond the arc while hitting both free throws. He also added three rebounds, two assists, one steal and no turnovers in 23 minutes.

After Bucknell's Chris Hass hit a short jumper to cut Temple's lead to 64-62 with 1 minute and 26 seconds remaining, Brown scored four consecutive points.

He first scored on a baseline drive in traffic that had a high degree of difficulty.

"That layup he made was a helluva shot," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "I am not sure he makes it the next time."

Then on the next Temple possession, Brown drew a foul and sank both free throws, extending the lead to 68-62 with 50 second left.

Brown is one of the Owls' best defenders. He is averaging 6.3 points per game, but doesn't go out of his way to look for his shot.

"I'm not really looking to score a lot but when the ball is in my hand I get a lot of kick-outs, I have to be able to knock that shot down," Brown said. "Coach always tells me to be aggressive so I just try to go out there and play as hard as I can."

He has been more comfortable shooting from the perimeter, evidenced by his team-leading 39.6 percent three point shooting.

Still, Brown is equally dangerous when taking it to the basket as he did on that baseline drive.

"When I see an opening I try to put my head down and just get to the bucket," he said.

On a night when nobody else but Cummings shot as high as 50 percent, Brown's role off the bench was invaluable, a major reason why the Owls will now host George Washington in Sunday's 11 a.m. second-round game.