The story of Temple's season has been one of hard-fought wins, and the script didn't change Saturday. The Owls survived a hot second half by new 2,000-point scorer Damon Lynn and defeated NJIT, 68-63, at the Liacouras Center.
Coming off a 78-57 loss Tuesday to No. 1 Villanova, Temple improved to 8-4, while New Jersey Institute of Technology fell to 5-8.
It was Temple's fifth win by six or fewer points.
Obi Enechionyia led Temple with 13 points. NJIT's Lynn, a 5-foot-11 senior, had 25 points, giving him 2,015 for his career.
"We would like to spread the margin, but these close games are helping us grow and mature quickly and learning how to close games no matter what team we play," said redshirt senior Dan Dingle, who had 11 points.
Temple was 15 for 17 from the foul line, while NJIT was 2 for 3.
The Highlanders attempted 33 three-point field goals, making 13.
Leading the way was Lynn, who was 7 for 15 from beyond the arc. That was as many three-pointers as the entire Temple team (7-18).
"I thought we did a good job on Lynn in the first half, but we let him up for air," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
Lynn produced 20 of his points in the second half.
As for reaching his milestone, Lynn had mixed emotions.
"It doesn't really mean a lot now coming off a loss ... but 2,000 points feels good to have under your belt," said Lynn, who has 408 career three-pointers.
Temple took a 56-47 lead on Dingle's three-pointer with 5 minutes, 47 seconds left, but NJIT kept battling. NJIT tied the score at 63 on Rob Ukawuba's tip-in with 56 seconds left.
Shizz Alston's driving layup gave Temple a 65-63 lead with 44 seconds remaining. Lynn missed a three-pointer and Alston was fouled and made both free throws, extending the Owls' margin to four points, 67-63, with 22.3 seconds left.
Lynn then missed a three. Alani Moore was fouled and made one of two free throws.
Temple had avoided the upset over an NJIT team that won 41 games over the previous two seasons.
"They have a good veteran group that is coming off winning 20 games last year," Dunphy said. "We knew we were in for a great fight and great challenge and it certainly was."
Temple played without point guard Josh Brown, who was experiencing soreness. Brown had played five games in a row since missing the first six while recovering from offseason Achilles tendon surgery.
If he did reinjure the tendon, or it simply isn't strong enough to allow him to play, Brown would be eligible for a medical redshirt since it happened in the first half of the season and he wouldn't have played more than 30 percent of his team's games.
As for whether redshirting is a possibility, Dunphy said that Brown has been given all the information, including that if he plays one game in the second half of the season, he wouldn't be eligible for a medical hardship.
Since the beginning of the season, Dunphy has been consistent in how he's handling the injury, insisting that he would defer to Brown and the medical staff on any decision. Dunphy reiterated that Saturday.
"It is all going to be [Brown], the doctor, and trainer, and I will do whatever he wants to do. But again, the soreness concerns me," Dunphy said.
Brown is averaging 7.2 points and 1.8 assists in 20.4 minutes. He averaged 9.0 points and 25.6 minutes in his last three games.