Correction: Wisconsin-Temple story
PHILADELPHIA (AP) In a story Dec. 6 about the Wisconsin-Temple game, The Associated Press reported erroneously the conference affiliation of Temple. Temple is in the American Athletic Conference, not the Atlantic 10.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Alston sets free-throw record, Temple downs Wisconsin 59-55
Shizz Alston Jr. scored 22 points and hit four decisive free throws late to set a school record and lead Temple to a 59-55 victory over Wisconsin
By MIKE CRANSTON
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Take away Shizz Alston Jr. and Temple was 2 of 9 from the foul line on Wednesday night against Wisconsin.
When it came down to crunch time, though, the Badgers kept fouling the wrong guy.
Shizz Alston Jr. scored 22 points and hit four decisive free throws to set a school record and lead Temple to a 59-55 victory over Wisconsin.
"He was not the guy we wanted to foul," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "They did a good job of getting the ball to him, and good players find a way to go get it."
Ethan Happ matched a season-high with 23 points, but was held scoreless over the final 5:52 for the Badgers (4-6), who have dropped three of four.
Obi Enechionyia had 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Temple (5-2), including two rejections of Happ inside over the final three minutes in Owls' home opener.
Wisconsin didn't score over the final 3:27.
Alston, who shot 6 of 6 from the line, has made a school-record 52 consecutive foul shots dating to last December. He drilled two with 1:09 left to put Temple ahead 57-55, and buried two more to put it away with 4.6 seconds remaining as the Owls won for the second time in four games.
Shooting free throws is something the junior did often growing up in Philadelphia.
"My dad preached that the most," Alston said. "I couldn't do anything if I didn't learn to shoot free throws."
"We knew were going to have to be solid for all 40 minutes. And we were pretty solid for 36 or 37," Gard said. "This team is still growing and maturing into figuring how to finish a game out."
Alston's tiebreaking free throws gave him 50 straight to surpass Lynn Greer's school record set in March 2001. Greer saw it firsthand from the stands.
After an empty possession for each side, Wisconsin's Kobe King missed a straightaway 3-pointer before Alston finished it at the line.
"That's exactly what we wanted," Gard said of King's shot. "If that wasn't open, then we were looking for Happ inside."
Happ hit 11 of 19 shots, and added six rebounds as the Badgers continued their difficult early-season schedule. Khalil Iverson added nine points and six rebounds.
The Owls, who entered 3-0 against Power 5 teams with victories over Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina, got two buckets from Quinton Rose in an 8-0 run to go ahead 47-41 with 10:47 left.
Happ responded with three inside baskets in Wisconsin's ensuing 12-3 spurt. But Temple rallied to tie it with two minutes left after Enechionyia blocked Happ and Rose hit one of two foul shots on the next possession.
Extra free-throw shooting may be on the upcoming Temple practice schedule for everybody but Alston, who last missed at the line Dec. 28 against Cincinnati.
"The record wouldn't have meant much if we lost," Alston said. "I'm glad we got the win."
Wisconsin: The Badgers are going through anything but a normal early season for a major conference school. They've already played four ranked teams and two Big Ten games. Gard talked after the game of the thin margin between winning and losing against good competition.
Temple: Only six Division I teams will play their first home game later than the Owls. The American Athletic Conference team maneuvered through a tough early schedule with four wins over Power Five teams. Another big test awaits next week against No. 4 Villanova.
The 6-foot-10 Happ showed his many skills when he grabbed a defensive rebound early in the second half, dribbled the length of the floor through traffic, stopped on the right baseline, then accelerated and finished a contested reverse layup.
Wisconsin: Hosts in-state rival Marquette on Saturday in the first of five straight home games.
Temple: Home vs. Big 5 opponent Saint Joseph's on Saturday. The Owls' only two losses are to La Salle and George Washington.
Updated December 7, 2017