Temple 76, George Washington 60
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rick Brunson scored a career-high 36 points and had 11 rebounds Sunday as Temple held on in the closing minutes for a 76-60 victory over George Washington.
Brunson also tied an Atlantic 10 Conference record for 3-point baskets with nine.
The Owls (17-8 overall, 10-5 in the A-10) have won three straight and eight of their last nine, and moved into a second place tie with George Washington with one game remaining for each club.
Temple never trailed, roaring out to a 24-14 lead with 8:30 left in the first half, and increased that advantage to 40-25 at intermission.
After the lead grew to 48-30 with 13:37 remaining in the game on a basket by Derrick Battie, the Colonials (18-11, 10-5) began their comeback bid, going on a 22-9 run to pull within 57-52 on a short jumper by Vaughn Jones with 5:14 left to play.
However, Brunson’s record-tying 3-pointer with 4:46 remaining choked off the rally, and Levan Alston followed with a pair of free throws with 4:15 left to increase the lead to 62-52. The Owls outscored George Washington 12-6 over the next 3:06 to wrap up the victory.
Brunson connected on nine of 14 3-point tries to tie the mark set by Brian Leahy of St. Joseph’s in 1988, and broke the school record of eight held by Terence Stansbury since 1983.
Alston added 15 points for Temple, which closes out its regular season Tuesday night on the road against crosstown Philadelphia rival St. Joseph’s.
Nimbo Hammons led the Colonials with 21 points, while Alexander Koul contributed 15 points and Antoine Hart 10.
George Washington closes out its regular season Tuesday needing only to defeat Rutgers to wrap up second place in the A-10. The Colonials and Owls split their two meetings this season, but GW has the upper hand in the tiebreaker because of its two victories over first place Massachusetts.