By Barbara Harrison
Temple may only be 11-7, but the Owls bagged another nationally ranked team today.
Eighth-ranked SMU became the last Division I team to lose this season when Devin Coleman scored a career-high 23 points and led Temple to an 89-80.
Coach Larry Brown and the Mustangs (18-1, 7-1 American Athletic Conference) were off to the best start in team history.
SMU is ineligible for postseason play this year because of NCAA infractions.
Coleman made all seven of his 3-point shots. Quenton DeCosey added 19 for the Owls (5-2 in the AAC) in their highest-scoring game of the season.
Temple fans rushed the court to celebrate the victory. The crowd at the Liacouras Center was smaller than usual after the game was pushed back a day because the winter storm that blanketed the East Coast.
Sterling Brown scored 19 points to lead SMU.
Trailing by 12 early in the second half, SMU chipped away and closed to four with 12:18 left on six straight points from Brown, capped by a reverse layup in traffic.
Coleman then made two straight 3s to cap an 11-0 spurt. He matched the school record for long-distance accuracy, tying the 7-for-7 performance on 3s by Pepe Sanchez on Feb. 16, 1997, vs. Rhode Island.
Overall, the Owls shot 14 for 29 on 3-pointers, the most they’ve hit all season. Daniel Dingle added 14 points for Temple, which has won five of its last six games.
Jordan Tolbert scored 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting and Ben Moore had 13 for the Mustangs, who shot just 3 for 13 from 3-point range.
While it was icy outside as the city dug out from the snow, the Owls started out hot. Coleman and Dingle each hit two 3s in the final 2:10 of Temple’s top-scoring first half of the season, making it 44-34.
The Mustangs committed eight turnovers in the first half and missed seven of 16 foul shots before the break.