HARTFORD, Conn. - Ending a 50-year stretch without a victory over Connecticut wasn't going to come easily for Temple on Wednesday afternoon. But come it did.
Jesse Morgan had a game-high 17 points and the Temple defense shut out UConn over the final 4 minutes, 4 seconds of overtime to beat the Huskies, 57-53, in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The Huskies had come into the game with a 6-3 lead in the series, and Temple last won against UConn on Jan. 29, 1964. With the win, the Owls surpassed last year's nine victories.
Morgan hit a three-point basket to put the Owls (10-4) up, 51-45, with 1:51 left in the second half. The Huskies (6-5) scored the final six points, and after Daniel Dingle missed a driving layup as time expired, overtime beckoned. Rodney Purvis had tied the game for UConn on a dunk with 12 seconds left.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Morgan, who equaled his Temple career high, which he got in the win over Kansas. "It was a great environment. The crowd came out. We just battled it out."
Quenton DeCosey, who had 11 points for the Owls, made both ends of a one-and-one with 2:48 remaining in overtime, putting Temple up, 55-53.
UConn had an opportunity to snatch victory when DeCosey fouled Daniel Hamilton on a three-point shot with time winding down in overtime. The officials determined that there were 2.8 seconds left as Hamilton went to the line for three foul shots. He missed the first two, and as Hamilton missed the third intentionally, he stepped over the foul line. The lane violation gave Temple the ball.
Purvis fouled Will Cummings before the ball was inbounded. Cummings, who had eight points, seven assists and four steals, calmly sealed the win by making both of his free throws.
"Looking at a number of first big games of other leagues, it's sort of like getting blood from a stone," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "Both teams know each other pretty well."
Temple led, 25-21, at halftime, but the Huskies came out with an 8-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half to take a 29-27 lead. Temple responded with a 9-2 burst to retake the lead, which it did not relinquish until Purvis' dunk in the final seconds.
Amida Brimah had 12 points to lead UConn, while Hamilton had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Owls are off until Jan. 4, when they host Central Florida.