PHILADELPHIA - University of Connecticut senior guardRyan Boatright(Aurora, Ill.) netted 25 points for UConn and redshirt sophomore guardRodney Purvis(Raleigh, N.C.) added 18 points in a 75-63 loss to Temple on Saturday. The Huskies finished the regular season at 17-13 overall and 10-8 in American Athletic play with the loss.
Boatright scored 21 of his 25 points in the first halffor the defending national-champion Huskies, who likely will have to win the conference tournament to make the NCAA tournament this season. UConn will play USF in the opening round of the tournament on Thursday (8 p.m. ET) in Hartford.
The Owls erased a five-point halftime deficit with a 15-4 run over the first 7:18 of the second half to go up 47-41. Temple coach Fran Dunphy made a defensive switch after the break, putting Morgan on Boatright. UConn went 0-for-7 from the field with a pair of turnovers, both by Boatright, during Temple's run.
UConn got as close as two on Purvis' layup with 11:39 left, but Temple continued to play with the lead. The Owls extended their margin to a game-high eight points, 63-55, with four minutes remaining on Morgan's 3-pointer. And Temple scored five of the next six points, capped by Obi Enechionyia's baseline jumper with 2:31 to play, to take a commanding 68-56 lead.
The Huskies had been playing well, of late, with a win over then-No. 21 SMU among their three straight wins before Thursday's home loss to Memphis, a game in which they shot 27.8 percent (15-for-54) from the field.
Boatright, a leading candidate for the conference's Player of the Year award, made his first five shots, including three 3-pointers, on his way to 21 first-half points to help the Huskies take a 37-32 lead at the break. He finished 6-for-8 from the field, 4-for-5 from the arc and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in a near-perfect opening 20 minutes.
Despite dropping both meetings this season, the Huskies lead the all-time series 6-5. The Huskies lost at home to Temple 57-53 in overtime on Dec. 31.
UP NEXT UConn will compete in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday against South Florida.