PHILADELPHIA — The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team had a chance to pull off a sweep during its trip to Pennsylvania, but the Badgers couldn’t close the deal.
Shizz Alston Jr. scored 22 points, including the final four of the game on free throws, to help Temple rally past UW 59-55 on Wednesday night at the Liacouras Center.
Alston has hit 52 consecutive foul shots dating to last December. He hit two with 1:09 left to put Temple ahead 57-55, and two more to put it away with 4.6 seconds remaining as the Owls (5-2) won for the second time in four games.
Temple held the Badgers (4-6) scoreless over the final 3 minutes, 35 seconds to win their home opener. Junior center Ethan Happ scored a game-high 23 points for Wisconsin, but he was held scoreless over the final 5:51 after Temple clamped down on him.
Junior forward Khalil Iverson had nine points for the Badgers.
Senior forward Obi Enechionyia added 11 points for Temple. His defense on Happ down the stretch helped decide the game.
Temple used an 8-0 run to build a 47-41 lead midway through the second half.
But Happ scored inside on three of the next four possessions to tie the game at 47 with 8:05 remaining.On the next possession, Iverson took a nice feed from Happ and finished with a dunk to give the Badgers a 49-48 lead. That lead grew to 53-50 when Iverson fought for a rebound in traffic and scored on a putback. Wisconsin led 55-52 after a putback by redshirt freshman Aleem Ford, but Temple answered with the next 7 points. After Enechionyia scored in the paint, Quinton Rose made 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game with 2:24 left.
After Happ got shots blocked on back-to-back possessions, Alston gave the Owls a 57-55 lead with 1:09 left. Happ followed by missing a contested shot inside, but he played good defense on the other end and forced Alston to airball a 3-pointer. That gave Wisconsin the ball with 27.6 seconds left. The Badgers worked the ball and King had an open look from the top of the key, but he missed a 3-pointer and Temple grabbed the rebound. Wisconsin fouled Alston, one of the best foul shooters in the nation, with 4.6 seconds remaining.
He made both to give the Owls a four-point lead, clinching the win.
Alston’s 3-pointer with 32 seconds remaining in the first half helped send Temple into the locker room with a 31-28 halftime lead.
After being held to single figures in back-to-back games, Happ had 10 points by halftime to lead the Badgers.
Wisconsin shot 44.0 percent in the first half but went just 3 of 11 from 3-point range.
Wisconsin: Hosts in-state rival Marquette on Saturday in the first of five straight home games.
Temple: The Owls host Big 5 foe Saint Joseph’s on Saturday.