PHILADELPHIA- In one of the most exciting non-conference games in the history of Texas Southern Tigers basketball center Aaric Murray scored 48 points to lead the Tigers to a 90-89 upset win over Temple on the road in front of a stunned Owls home crowd.
The 6-10 big man was unstoppable the majority of the night scoring bucket after bucket against a Temple program that had never given up that many points against an opposing player in school history.
In addition to that new mark set, Murray also set records for the most points ever scored at the Liacouras Center. His 48 point explosion also set the standard for most points scored in a regular season game in Division I basketball this season.
The Philadelphia native also became the first NCAA Division I player taller than six foot ten inches in height to score 48 points in over a decade while also becoming the first player to connect on 20+ field goals in a game since 2011 (J. Fredette).
After a late scoring rally gave Temple a one-point lead with 14 seconds remaining, Madarious Gibbs was fouled at the other end of the floor after collecting an offensive rebound. He hit 2-of-2 with seven seconds remaining to help seal the game in TSU’s favor.
The Owls were able to rebound a missed shot with one second remaining, but a shot at the buzzer was ruled too late after review. Texas Southern led by as many as 14 points in the second half before seeing Temple mount a comeback down the stretch.
The shooting percentages were impressive for both teams, particularly in the first half. Texas Southern shot 59 percent in the contest, while Temple hit at a 56 percent clip. The first half was a high-scoring affair with a combined 87 points scored by the break. Both teams shot over 60 percent, with Texas Southern edging the Owls 64 percent to 62 percent.
Murray had 21 first-half points for the Tigers, while DeCosey led Temple with 11 points, shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor. The Tigers jumped out to an early eight-point, 16-8 lead in the first five minutes, which would be their largest lead of the half. Sparked by a three-pointer from Temple used a 9-1 run to tie the game at 17-17 just past the 12-minute mark.
The Tigers went on to lead by six points on three more occasions, the final time at 32-26. The Owls then hit their next six shots in a row from the field to tie the game at 40-40. Texas Southern went back ahead by five before the Owls hit a buzzer-beating jumper to close the gap to 45-42 at halftime.
Murray scored on his first four field goal attempts of the second half, and the Tigers quickly increased a three-point halftime lead to 12, 58-46 at 16:19. They went on to lead by as many as 14, 63-49 at 14:34. Near the midway point of the second half, an 8-2 run got the Owls within seven, 69-62 at 10:38, but Murray struck again with a three-pointer to get his team’s lead back to double digits.
Trailing by seven, 78-71 with just under seven minutes remaining, Temple used a 13-5 run to come within a point, 83-82 with 1:20 remaining. The Tigers then went back ahead by six thanks to a pair of buckets from Murray over a 10-second stretch.
“Aaric was huge for us tonight,” said TSU head coach Mike Davis. “He was able to get the job done in a variety of ways both inside and out. This was a big win for our team, and our basketball program as we close out the non-conference portion of our schedule and move into conference play.”
Texas Southern will return home for the next few days before traveling to Fort Worth to take on TCU on December 29th.
Courtesy: Texas Southern Sports Information