PHILADELPHIA — It was another tough night for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team.
In a 59-55 loss to Temple, the Badgers didn’t score over the final 3 minutes, 27 seconds.
Down the stretch, as Wisconsin (4-6) was fouling to stay in it, they just happened to put the guy on the line that has the school record for consecutive made free throws.
Shizz Alston Jr. scored 22 points, hitting four decisive free throws to set a school record at 52 in the win.
“He was not the guy we wanted to foul,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said.
Ethan Happ matched a season-high with 23 points, but was held scoreless over the final 5:52, as Wisconsin has dropped three of four.
Alston, who shot 6 of 6 from the line, drilled two with 1:09 left to put Temple (5-2) ahead 57-55, and buried two more to put it away with 4.6 seconds remaining.
Just before those final free throws, La Crosse native Kobe King missed a straightaway 3-pointer to give the Badgers the lead with 12 seconds to go.
“That’s exactly what we wanted,” Gard said of King’s shot. “If that wasn’t open, then we were looking for Happ inside.”
King, a freshman, also missed a 3-pointer at the 6:34 mark with the Badgers down 50-49. The Central High School graduate played 25 minutes off the bench and was 1-for-5 from the field. He scored two points to go with three rebounds and two assists. It’s the fifth consecutive game over 20 minutes for King.
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. They’ve maneuvered through a tough early schedule with four wins over Power 5 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 and Atlantic 10 opponent Saint Joseph’s on Saturday. The Owls’ only two losses are to fellow A-10 schools La Salle and George Washington.