Kinston native hits winner at buzzer as Temple tops ECU

ECU Pirates

J.J. Miles (ECU Sports Information photo)

PHILADELPHIA – Former Kinston High School star Damian Dunn hit a three-point field goal as time expired Saturday afternoon, lifting Temple to a 78-75 American Athletic Conference victory over East Carolina at the Liacouras Center.

The Pirates (10-4, 1-1 AAC) played their first true road game of the season while the Owls (9-6, 2-2 AAC) won their second straight in league play.

Alanzo Frink scored a season-high 15 points as one of three ECU players in double figures. Tremont Robinson-White added 14 while Vance Jackson finished with 12 and a team-best six rebounds. Tristen Newton also chipped in with a career-high nine assists to go along with eight points and six rebounds. Dunn exploded for a personal-best 33 points, hitting 10 shots from the floor and knocking down 10 free throws.

East Carolina shot over 50 percent from the field for the fourth time this season, connecting on 26 of 51 attempts (51 percent), while also outrebounding Temple by a 29-27 margin. ECU also hit 16 of 17 free-throw attempts (94.1 percent). The Owls fired at a 49-percent clip (28 of 57) from the floor and matched the Pirates with seven three-point field goals.

It took East Carolina over four minutes to record its first bucket as Temple built an early 7-0 lead. The Pirates settled in, however, putting together a 13-1 run to propel ahead by five at the 12:35 mark. ECU kept digging in and eventually grabbed a 10-point cushion at 32-22 following a layup by Miles with 5:17 remaining before the half. The Pirates were up by as many as 11 before the Owls made a final push to reduce their deficit to six at the intermission.

Dunn led all scorers with 15 points in the first 20 minutes while Frink dropped in 12. The teams were even in the rebounding column at 17 apiece and East Carolina hit 50-percent of its field-goal attempts (15 of 30).

A pair of foul shots by Brandon Suggs saw the Pirates take a 50-42 lead at the 15:31 mark of the second stanza. However, Temple went on a 13-0 run over the next five minutes to pull ahead by five. The teams traded blows down the stretch as Robinson-White put ECU back ahead 69-68 by knocking down two at the line. Dunn afforded the Owls a 75-72 advantage with 28 seconds to go before Robinson-White answered with a bucket and free throw to knot the score. Dunn would not be denied, however, as his contested three at the buzzer swished through the net.

Up Next: East Carolina closes out a quick road swing Wednesday at Cincinnati.

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