Temple's Shizz Alston needed 11 points to reach the 1,000-point career mark entering Tuesday's home game against Georgia. The Owls received more than double that amount from the 6-foot-4 senior and all of them were needed to hold off the late-surging Bulldogs.
Alston and Quinton Rose each scored 25 points as Temple posted an 81-77 win at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls (3-0) avenged last year's 84-66 loss at Georgia.
Georgia, under first-year head coach Tom Crean, was picked to finish 13th among 14 Southeastern Conference teams in the preseason media poll, but beating an SEC team still carries weight.
Alston, whose father Levan played for Temple, is well-schooled in the school's basketball history, so becoming the Owls' 53rd 1,000-point scorer was a big deal.
"It means everything," Alston said. "Growing up, watching Temple greats play and seeing guys like Lynn Greer, Khalif Wyatt, Quenton DeCosey, just being part of that club means a lot, coach [Aaron] McKie, Eddie Jones, it means a lot."
The 6-8 Rose was being more aggressive driving the ball to the basket than in his first two games.
"They were bigger than us and I knew they wouldn't be able to keep up with my foot speed, so I just tried to attack the basket," Rose said.
Georgia, which trailed by as many as 12 in the second half, cut the lead to 79-77 when Rayshaun Hammonds hit a three-pointer with 27.3 seconds left.
Temple then threw the ball away on the inbounds pass. Georgia's Derek Ogbeide missed a turnaround jumper inside and Temple's Ernest Aflakpui was fouled on the rebound. It was only the sixth team foul, so Temple inbounded and Alston was fouled with 3.5 seconds left.
Alston hit both ends of a one-and-one and the Owls had survived. He hit all four of his free throws for the night and has begun the season 15-for-15 from the foul line.
Ogbeide and junior guard Tyree Crump each scored 16 points for the 1-1 Bulldogs.
Besides the outcome, it was a rough first road trip with his new team for Crean, with Georgia experiencing travel problems. The Bulldogs were supposed to land in Philadelphia on Monday, but after their chartered jet slid off the runway, they had to take another flight Tuesday. Crean said the team arrived at its hotel at 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday.
"I am proud of the way we responded," Crean said. "The first half we played like we had no legs, like we had been in travel difficulties."
Temple led 45-34 at halftime.
"The second half we played closer to what we are capable of, but we have to learn that you can't put yourself in a hole against a good team," Crean said.
Temple, which hosts Loyola (Maryland) on Friday, received 16 points, six rebounds and three steals from sophomore guard Nate Pierre-Louis.