Temple went from feeling jubilation to despair in a span of four days.
That’s because after shocking fifth-ranked Duke, the Owls were shocked in their Atlantic Ten opener against Dayton.
Sparked by a 16-2 second-half run, the Flyers prevailed, 87-77, on Saturday at the Liacouras Center, snapping the Owls’ school-record 25-game home winning streak.
It was Temple’s first home since an 84-52 setback to Kansas on Jan. 2, 2010.
The loss also dropped the Owls to 10-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play, and snapped their four-game winning streak on the season. And it marked their first loss to the Flyers (12-4, 2-0) in three games.
Junior guard Khalif Wyatt made 5 of 10 three-pointers to lead all scorers with a career-high 28 points in the loss.
Senior guards Ramone Moore (17 points) and Juan Fernandez (15) were the Owls other double-digit scorers.
Dayton, on the other hand, had five players to score in double-digits.
Point guard Kevin Dillard and reserve guard Josh Parker had 16 points each. Center Matt Kavanaugh had 14 points, followed by forwards Luke Fabrizius (13) and Chris Johnson (12).
Temple built a 28-20 lead with on Anthony Lee’s dunk with 6:26 before intermission.
The Owls, however, followed that by missing eight of their final nine field-goal attempts on the half. As a result, Dayton went on an 11-2 run to take its third lead (31-30) on Chris Johnson’s layup 1:49 before the break.
Wyatt knotted the score 31-31 on the foul shot 29 seconds left in the half. It was the sixth tie of a half that also had six lead changes.
The Owls sandwiched four three-pointers around a Ramone Moore layup to take a six-point cushion (55-49) with 12:31 remaining. Then with Owls up, 60-55, the Flyers went on a 16-2 run to take a 71-62 lead with 4:10 left.
Baskets by Wyatt pulled Temple within five points three times. The third time came on his three-pointer with 55.9 seconds left to make an 80-75 game. But that was a close as the Owls got.
NOTE: 76ers rookie and former Temple forward Lavoy Allen and former Temple football player Bernard Pierce attended Saturday’s game. Pierce, a junior tailback, announced this week that he would forego his senior season and enter the upcoming NFL draft. Allen finished his Owls career last season as the school’s career leader in rebounds.