PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Dustin Salisbery scored a career-high 34 points, Dionte Christmas had 21 and Dion Dacons grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Temple to its third straight win, 76-71 over Western Michigan on Tuesday night.
Playing with renewed energy and enthusiasm in the second half, the Owls (3-2) rallied from a nine-point deficit, hitting three 3-pointers in a 2-minute span that turned the game around.
Shawntes Gary scored 18 points, Michael Redell had 16 and Andre Ricks 12 for the Broncos (3-5). Leading scorer and rebounder Joe Reitz was a non-factor, fouling out with eight points and four rebounds.
Reitz did convert a three-point play with 10 1/2 minutes left in the second half to push the Broncos’ lead to 52-45, seemingly stalling Temple’s momentum after Salisbery sank a 3.
But the Owls were just getting started. Christmas, who has been sensational for the Owls this season, converted the rare four-point play which sent the crowd into a frenzy. He scored on a putback on the next possession to make it a one-point game.
Gray, who hit consecutive 3s early in the half to give Western Michigan the lead, sank two free throws to make it 54-51. Christmas, though, delivered again with a halfcourt steal. He found DaShone Kirkendoll, who hit the tying 3-pointer with 7:51 left.
Salisbery, whose previous career high was 27 points, tied that total midway through the half. His jumper from the left side gave the Owls the lead for good, 58-56. After a collision at halfcourt, Christmas scooped the loose ball and scored on a fastbreak to make it 62-56 and the Owls eventually led by 11 points.
Salisbery and Christmas each got a turn to lead the Owls. Salisbery was sensational in the first half, scoring 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead them to a 30-29 lead at the break.
Christmas took over in the second half, scoring 17 points, and capping a solid all-around game with three steals and six rebounds.