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Temple wins; Randall likely to redshirt

After the Owls' OT victory, the injured forward spoke about his situation.

Juan Fernandez celebrates at the end of Temple's overtime win against Buffalo. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)
Juan Fernandez celebrates at the end of Temple's overtime win against Buffalo. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)Read more

Perhaps it was just a matter of playing through the rust.

On a night when Scootie Randall said he was leaning toward redshirting, his Temple teammates looked as if they were still on a nine-day break. Especially through the first 35 minutes Wednesday against Buffalo.

When the Owls weren't missing layups, they were committing turnovers. Defensively, Temple was lax in the paint and on the perimeter.

Fortunately for the Owls, Anthony Lee's layup in the final second gave them an 87-85 overtime victory at the Liacouras Center.

Temple (8-3) extended its home winning streak to 25 games.

Lee got the ball underneath the Owls basket after Temple reserve guard Aaron Brown stole the ball from Buffalo forward Mitchell Watt. The biggest basket of the 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman's career was his lone basket of the game.

Brown "tipped the ball back," said Lee, who made 1 of 6 shots to finish with five points. "I just reached up and grabbed it and floated the ball up, because I saw time was expiring."

The Bulls (6-4) missed a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Temple celebration was on.

While his teammates talked about the win in postgame interviews, Randall spoke about the decision he's officially about to make.

The 6-6 senior swingman and center Micheal Eric (right kneecap) are sidelined with injuries. Randall has yet to play this season after recovering from offseason left knee surgery.

"I'm leaning toward probably just sitting out this season," he said of redshirting. "That will also be better for me."

By redshirting, Randall will be able to play next season, one he hopes will be healthy. If he played the remainder of this season, he would be at less than 100 percent and out of game shape.

"My decision will be finalized by tomorrow," he said. "I guess Coach [Fran Dunphy] will talk to [Temple's sports information director] Larry Dougherty on Friday. But we are going to talk about it again [Thursday]."

Temple guard Ramone Moore finished with a team-high 24 points. Point guard Juan Fernandez (21 points), guard Khalif Wyatt (17 points), and Brown (12) were the Owls' other double-digit scorers. With 11 three-pointers, Temple tied its season high.

The Bulls took advantage of the Owls' playing without Eric and Randall.

Without Eric's intimidating presence, the Owls had a tough time stopping the Bulls' Watt and Javon McCrea in the post. McCrea, a 6-7 sophomore forward, finished with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting. Watt, a 6-10 senior forward, finished with 22 points.