AMHERST, Mass. - Failing to execute late in the second half cost Temple for a second straight game. Even with Obi Enechionyia tying a career high with 26 points, the Owls fell to Massachusetts, 70-67, in a nonconference game Thursday at the Mullins Center.
Temple (1-2) has won by five and has lost by five and by three.
"We won our share of close games last year and we have to figure out how to win our share this year," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "Hopefully we took a step in that direction tonight. As we watch film and get a little better decision-making at the end, we will get better at it."
With the Owls down by three points, freshman Quinton Rose shot an air ball on a three-pointer from near-NBA range and time expired.
"When I got the ball, I dribbled it and tried to be aggressive, getting up the court and heard from the bench we need a three so I tried to pull up and get the shot I saw," Rose said.
Temple's Alani More hit a short jumper to give the Owls a 67-65 lead with 50 seconds left, but a three by freshman DeJon Jarreau, who had a team-high 16 points, gave the Minutemen a 68-67 advantage with 34 seconds remaining.
Temple's Daniel Dingle missed a three-pointer with 11 seconds left. Dunphy liked the attempt, if not the result. "There was nobody around him, it just didn't go in," Dunphy said.
Freshman Luwane Pipkins rebounded the miss and made a long outlet pass to Jarreau, who scored an uncontested layup with seven seconds left.
Temple opted not to call time. Dingle inbounded to Rose near midcourt. The freshman took a few dribbles before firing the shot with four seconds left.
"It was a tough one for Rose, he kind of got pinned in the corner," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "There was enough time on the clock, I think to maybe make one more pass. But he's a freshman and got put in an awkward spot, and our guys did a pretty good job of defending him."
Temple didn't help its cause by making just 7 of 16 free throws, although UMass was just 9 for 17.
Enechionyia kept Temple in the game, scoring 18 points in the second half. The 6-foot-10 junior shot 8 for 17 from the field and 5 for 10 from beyond the arc in scoring at least 20 points for the third straight game. Despite serious defensive attention, Enechionyia continually got open looks from beyond the arc.
"The guys are doing a great job of setting screens and getting me open - that is really not me," Enechionyia said. "I try to move my feet, but a lot of it is getting good screens from teammates."
Scouts from the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers no doubt took notice of his game.
Both teams were coming off tough losses. Temple fell to visiting New Hampshire, 57-52, after shooting 20 for 66 from the field. UMass (2-1) fell, 90-88, at Ole Miss, where the winners scored the game's last 11 points.
Damion Moore, Temple's 6-11 freshman center from Mississippi, saw his first action of the season, scoring six points and hitting all three field-goal attempts in six first-half minutes. He did not play in the second half.
Temple led by as many as nine in the first half, but the lead was just 34-33 at halftime. The game had nine ties and 17 lead changes.