La Salle could not buy a three-pointer in its last game and the beginning of this one, but the Explorers used some long-range shooting from Pookie Powell to win their second Big Five nail-biter of the season.
Powell's three-pointer off the dribble from the top of the key as the shot clock was winding down gave La Salle an 83-81 lead it wouldn't relinquish Sunday in an 87-83 victory over Temple at Tom Gola Arena.
That was only the second lead of the game for the Explorers, who improved to 4-3 and 2-0 in the Big Five. The other Big Five win was a 75-71 at Penn in double overtime.
"I felt confident when it left," said Powell of his three-pointer with 39 seconds left. "The shot clock was going down and the ball was in my hand and Coach always tells me to make a play, so that is what I had to do."
La Salle was coming off a 57-46 loss to No. 11 Miami on Wednesday when the Explorers missed all 15 shots from three-point range, the first time in 843 games they failed to make a three.
Then La Salle missed its first five against Temple. Yet there was no panic. La Salle shot 7 for 14 the rest of the way.
"His numbers aren't crazy good shooting the three; today he was crazy good," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. Powell was shooting 25.7 percent from three-point range entering the game.
Powell shot 3 for 8 from beyond the arc but was 10 of 19 overall and hit 6 of 7 foul shots in scoring a game-high 29 points.
La Salle forward B.J. Johnson scored 25 points while playing all 40 minutes. Center Tony Washington added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Temple (3-1, 0-1 Big Five) received 21 points from Quinton Rose, 18 from Shizz Alston, and 16 from Obi Enechionyia, who scored his 1,000th career point after making two free throws early in the game.
After Powell's shot, the Explorers' Saul Phiri then stole the ball, was fouled, and hit two free throws with 18 seconds left.
Temple's Dre Perry scored on a layup, but Johnson then hit two free throws with 6.7 seconds left, making it 87-83. Sealing matters, Johnson blocked Josh Brown's driving layup attempt.
La Salle, which committed just four turnovers, got back into the game by going on an 11-0 run to tie the score at 66 on Powell's driving layup on a feed from Phiri with 7:29 left.
The game remained tight the rest of the way.