Temple moves on to NIT semifinals

1H TEM Q. DeCosey made Three Point Jumper. Assisted by W. Cummings. (0:23)

1H (18:47) TEM Quenton DeCosey made Three Point Jumper. Assisted by Will Cummings. (0:23)

PHILADELPHIA -- The students chanted "M-S-G!" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" blared from the loudspeakers after Temple's victory over Louisiana Tech in the NIT quarterfinals.

Quenton DeCosey had 21 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, Jesse Morgan scored 17 points and Temple advanced to New York's Madison Square Garden with a 77-59 victory Wednesday night.

In his final home game, Will Cummings added 15 points and six assists for the top-seeded Owls (26-10), the top team left out of the NCAA field.

Seeking its third NIT title, Temple will play Miami on Tuesday night.

"Everyone that plays basketball should get a chance to play at Madison Square Garden," Cummings said. "It's kind of like the stage of all stages."

For the second straight game, the Owls never trailed. After the Bulldogs cut it to five early in the second half, Morgan hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 12-4 run and help Temple pull away.

The Owls shot 49.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range as they continue their quest to show the NCAA Tournament selection committee that they deserved a spot in the field.

Cummings, who admitted he's still bitter about the NCAA snub, has scored 66 points in Temple's three NIT wins. And the senior point guard doesn't think he's done yet.

"I think I made a statement that we're going to win the NIT, and that's kind of where I've been focused," Cummings said. "I haven't gone into any game thinking that it's going to be my last."

Erik McCree scored 14 points for third-seeded Louisiana Tech (27-9), which beat Central Michigan and Texas A&M to advance to the quarterfinals after winning the Conference USA regular-season title.

Speedy Smith, the Conference USA Player of the Year, injured his left ankle on a drive with 12 minutes remaining and was carried to the locker room. He finished with eight points and five assists in his final collegiate game.

"It was devastating," Louisiana Tech coach Michael White said. "But it didn't have anything to do with the outcome of the game. At that point, with as much respect and admiration as I have for Speedy, I was as concerned with his well being as I was the outcome of the game. That's how much he's meant to this program. That's how much I love him."

In the other semifinal, Stanford will face Old Dominion.


Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs have lost on the road to Temple twice this season, dropping an 82-75 decision in November. ... Despite playing in three straight NITs and nine overall, Louisiana Tech has only made the tournament's semifinals once, in 1986.

Temple: The Owls have won 14 of their last 17 games. ... Temple coach Fran Dunphy said DeCosey had his best game of the season. It was his first career double-double. ... The Owls only committed five turnovers.