Senior Devin Coleman sparked Temple with big shots off the bench

Coleman beat the buzzer to end the first half, then heated up after the break to beat the Pirates in the second half.

The Temple men's basketball team was down eight points with time ticking down on the first half Saturday night against East Carolina.

The Owls made a defensive stop and Jaylen Bond dribbled the ball to mid-court, where he whistled a pass to Devin Coleman on the left wing. Coleman's open three-pointer beat the buzzer, and when the ball swished through the net Temple was down just 38-33.

It was only three points in what turned out to be a 78-60 Owls' victory, but the difference between a five-point deficit at the half seemed much smaller than 8 - or 10 if the Pirates had scored - and the momentum continued in a second half where Temple finished with a 45-22 advantage.

"That was the key for the game," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "I don't think there's any question about it. I thought it was the biggest play of the game. The defense was good, (Daniel) Dingle did a good job. Jaylen made a great play. The timing was perfect."

Coleman added 11 more points after the break for 17 total in the game. He finished with five three-pointers - the same as leading scorer Quenton DeCosey, wo totaled 24 - as the Owls pulled away.

"The (three) at the end of the first half seemed like it gave us some momentum that we carried along and helped us blow the game open," said Coleman. "In the second half my shot was feeling rieally good and my teammates did good job finding me."

Coleman came off the bench as Dunphy has been experimenting with different lineups. Coleman and sophomore Obi Enechionyia, who has found himself in early foul trouble, have been reserves the last few games and the coach has been satisfied with the look.

"I'm liking Devin Coleman coming off the bench," said Dunphy. "He gives you a little spark. He's an instant offense kind of guy. He made some great shots, and the econd half was terriffic.

"He gets on rolls. I just like the instant energy he gives us. He made a nice drive in the second half too and helped us put distance between us and them. He's Vinnie Johnson-like."

Coleman said it doesn't matter to him whether he starts or checks in a few minutes into the game..

"Not to me, it doesn't matter at all," said Coleman. "I just  go out with the right mindset, be aggressive and make plays for the team."

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