No. 16 Utah tops Temple 74-68 in for 3rd in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Jakob Poeltl was a force inside for No. 16 Utah. And he got some help from Brandon Taylor at a key moment.
Taylor hit a tough go-ahead shot with 28.4 seconds left and Poeltl scored a career-high 32 points to help the Utes beat Temple 74-68 in Sunday's third-place game at the Puerto Rico Tipoff.
Poeltl, who also had 11 rebounds, tied for the No. 2 single-game scoring total in Tipoff history. He also went 4 for 4 at the foul line in the final 4.6 seconds, giving Utah (4-1) a tough win after Friday's blowout loss to Miami.
Taylor came up with the biggest shot in a tight finish that had the teams trading the lead in the final 3 1/2 minutes. Tied at 68 and with the shot clock winding down, he retreated into the far corner in front of Utah's bench and launched an off-balance shot against Levan Shawn Alston Jr. that dropped through the net.
''I was confident,'' Taylor said. ''It felt good. I was relaxed more than anything. I think me being relaxed helped a lot.''
This from a guy who started the year 3 for 18 through the first two games, and the numbers hadn't gotten dramatically better through the first two games in San Juan.
''If there was a time to step up and hit one,'' coach Larry Krystkowiak said, ''it was certainly then.''
Temple (1-3) had a chance to tie after Taylor's shot, but Daniel Dingle missed two free throws with 15.6 seconds left. Poeltl got the rebound and the Owls were unable to foul while chasing the Utes around.
Josh Brown then shoved Poeltl from behind on a pitch-ahead in a desperate attempt to stop the clock. The referees called it a flagrant foul, giving Utah two shots and the ball. Poeltl sunk them, plus two more to close it out.
Utah shot 40 percent and led by 14 early in the second half before Temple rallied.
Quenton DeCosey scored 14 points for the Owls, who shot 39 percent and fell to 0-3 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
''We have a chance to be pretty good, but we need to pay attention to some details,'' Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
''I'm grateful that we're where we are, but we need to finish games out better than we have been.''
Temple: Obi Enechionyia scored 13 points. ... Temple made 10 of 29 3-point attempts. ... Forward Jaylen Bond played just 13 minutes before fouling out. ... Temple got to the line just nine times.
Utah: Taylor finished with 10 points. ... Jordan Loveridge scored just eight on 2-for-12 shooting, but had nine rebounds. ... The Utes made 26 of 34 free throws. ... Utah committed nine turnovers after the mistake-filled loss to the Hurricanes.
Poeltl finished 10 for 12 from the field and 12 of 14 from the foul line while getting Bond in foul trouble.
''I tried to be aggressive, post up every opportunity I had, go aggressive on the offensive boards,'' Poeltl said, ''and I was just feeling it.''
Krystkowiak said he gave his team Saturday off to regroup.
''We haven't been exactly a well-oiled machine offensively,'' he said. ''And some of the clarity after a day of the coaching staff spending some time on offensive ideas, I think it freed our minds up and allowed us to play more aggressively on offense.''
Temple hosts Delaware on Sunday.
Utah hosts Idaho State on Friday.
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