PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Jimmy Baron scored 18 points, including a crucial late 3-pointer, and the University of Rhode Island held off a Temple second-half charge for an 85-77 win on Saturday.
Parfait Bitee matched his career high with 18 points and Will Daniels scored 15 as the Rams (12-8, 5-1 Atlantic 10) won their third straight game and remained a surprise leader in the conference.
Temple (7-10, 1-4) lost for the sixth time in seven games despite a career-high 31 points from A-10 scoring leader Dionte Christmas, who tried to keep the Owls in the contest with six 3-pointers.
Dustin Salisbery added 22 for Temple and Mark Tyndale scored all 12 of his points in the second half.
URI shot 58 percent in the first half (18-for-31) and built a 50-31 lead when Baron connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the early stages of the second half.
Temple slowly came back as Christmas and Salisbery started to heat up from long range. The Owls pulled to 73-70 with 4:11 left and were still within 76-72 on a pair of Tyndale free throws with 2:57 to play.
But Baron connected on a 3-pointer with a hand in his face after URI kept alive a loose ball, and the Rams were able to put away the game from the foul line.