Shizz Alston Jr. scored 14 points including four clinching foul shots as Temple defeated Clemson 67-60 to win the Charleston Classic on Sunday night.
It was the second straight season the Owls (3-0) won an early season event, beating a pair of ranked teams in Florida State and West Virginia to take the NIT Season Tip-off a year ago. This time, they beat Auburn of the Southeastern Conference on Friday to make the finals, then put away Clemson of the Atlantic Coast Conference to finish on top in the eight-team event.
Temple used an 18-7 run that spanned both halves to gain control. Josh Brown scopred 13 points and had two of his three 3-pointers in that stretch. And when he knocked his final long-range basket with 13:02 remaining the Owls were up 50-36 and on their way to the victory.
The Tigers (4-1) cut things to 60-56 on Shelton Mitchell's driving layup with 51 seconds to go. Clemson had the chance to make it even tighter when Marcquise Reed stole the ball with 50 seconds left, but Donte Grantham's quick 3 was off the mark.
Quinton Rose hit two foul shots for Temple and Clemson could not catch up.
The Owls got a measure of Charleston-flavored revenge on Clemson, which topped Temple 76-72 to win this title in 2008. The Tigers were playing in their third Charleston final. They lost to UMass in 2013.
Obi Enechionyia and Alani Moore II scored 12 points each for Temple.
Mitchell led Clemson with 16 points. Reed had 14 points for the Tigers, 11 of them in the second half. Grantham had 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Temple: If the Owls can play like this, expect them to make plenty of noise in the American Athletic Conference this fall. Temple defeated Auburn of the Southeastern Conference to make the finals, then outhustled and out-muscled Clemson to win the tournament title.
IS THAT ...
Movie funnyman Bill Murray, who has a home in Charleston, was at the TD Arena to watch the tournament finals. Murray routinely pops up at area events and had on a zip-up vest with a Clemson tiger paw on it.
The game of the final day had to be Ohio's four-overtime, 96-94 victory over Indiana State in the seventh-place game. The Bobcats were down 18 points in the second half and eight in the second OT before Mike Laster's bucket in the final extra period gave them the lead for good. Old Dominion defeated Dayton 75-67 to take fifth, while Auburn outlasted Hofstra 89-78 for third.