CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Will Cummings 3-pointer with seven seconds left lifted Temple to an 83-81 victory over Georgia at the Charleston Classic on Friday night.
The Owls (2-3) led by as many 13 points, yet the Bulldogs (1-3) had come all the way back and led 81-80 on Charles Mann’s driving layup with 18.8 seconds to play. After a time out, Quenton DeCosey got the ball to an open Cummings on the top left of the circle and his shot connected to put Temple in front.
Georgia had a final chance, but Donte Williams’ long jumper hit hard off the backboard and Mann could not tip it back as time ran out.
Cummings finished with 17 points while Dalton Pepper had a career high 22 points off five 3-pointers for the Owls.
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Temple will take on UAB in the fifth-place game here Sunday. Georgia will meet Nebraska to try avoiding an 0-3 tournament.
DeCosey had 15 points and Daniel Dingle a career-high 12 for the Owls. Pepper was 5-of-9 on 3-pointers and led the Owls with five assists.
Kenny Gaines led Georgia with 21 points and Mann added 19.
Georgia chipped away at Temple’s 45-32 halftime lead throughout the second period. The Bulldogs tied things at 71 on Nemanja Djurisic’s 3-pointer with 4:07 to go. Djurisic tied it again moments later at 73 before Cummings regained the lead for Temple with his bucket.
The Owls built their edge to 80-76 on Cummings foul shots with 1:41 left before Georgia made a final run. Gaines had a jam to cut the lead to one and set up Mann’s driving layup that put the Bulldogs in front before Cummings made his big shot.
Georgia and Temple were a couple of teams desperately seeking a win. The Bulldogs had lost to rival Georgia Tech before dropping their tournament opener to Davidson of the Southern Conference.
The Owls had lost three straight since an opening night win over Big 5 rival Penn, including a 72-58 loss to Clemson on Thursday night to close day one at TD Arena.
Georgia looked like it wanted it more at first, pushing to a 15-5 lead as Temple opened ice cold as it made just one of its first seven shots. Things changed dramatically after Owls head coach Fran Dunphy called a time out after Nemanja Djurisic’s 3-pointer put Georgia ahead by 10.