HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Temple guard Josh Brown knew he was going to take the final shot against UConn, even though that wasn’t the plan.
The 6-foot-3 junior hit a spinning jumper in the lane with 2.5 seconds left and the Owls upset the 23rd-ranked Huskies 55-53 on Tuesday night.
The Owls (7-6, 2-1 American Athletic Conference) led by as many as eight points in the second half, but were tied after two free throws from UConn’s Daniel Hamilton.
Coach Fran Dunphy called a timeout with 14 seconds left to set up a final shot that was supposed to go to leading scorer Quenton DeCosey. But Brown said he was sure UConn would deny DeCosey the ball and had a plan of his own.
“Once I seen that, I saw a couple of seconds on the clock, I put my head down and tried to make a play, which I did,” he said.
A desperation 3-pointer by Sterling Gibbs at the buzzer was well off the mark.
DeCosey scored 15 points to lead the Owls and made all three of his attempts from 3-point range. Devin Coleman added 14 points, while Brown and Jaylen Bond each had 11.
Shonn Miller scored 18 points to lead the Huskies (10-4, 1-1), who had won five straight. Rodney Purvis added 11 points.
The win was the 200th at Temple for Dunphy and the Owls’ second in three games against a ranked team. They beat then-No. 22 Cincinnati 77-70 on Dec. 29 before losing Saturday by 27 points at home to Houston.
Dunphy is one of five just five Division I coaches to get 200 or more wins at two different schools and take both schools to at least six NCAA Tournaments. He was 310-163 during his 17 years at Penn.
“I’ve just been coaching a long time,” Dunphy said. “It’s been 10 years at Temple. It’s been a fantastic 10 years.”
Temple led by three points at halftime and extended that to 40-32 on a jumper by Bond.
Hamilton, who missed his first nine shots and was 2 of 13 from the field, made a jumper to cut the Temple lead to 46-45. Two free throws by Miller gave UConn its first lead of the half at 47-46 with 8 minutes left.
But DeCosey put Temple back in front with his third 3-pointer, and the teams struggled to score the rest of the way.
UConn shot just 31.6 percent from the field, almost 19 percentage points under the team’s season average. Temple shot 39 percent, but outrebounded the Huskies 40-34 and held the Huskies’ transition game in check.
“Our guards combined were 7 for 30, no fast break points,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “If you do that, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
The Owls were 7 of 18 from 3-point range after going just 3 for 23 from beyond the arc against Houston.
Purvis scored the Huskies’ first eight points and UConn used an 11-0 run to open an early 11-3 lead.
But that was the largest lead the Huskies would have in the half. Temple’s defense forced seven first-half turnovers and held UConn to 10 baskets on 31 shots (32 percent). The Huskies came into the game shooting better than 50 percent.
UConn made just four of 20 shots from 3-point range.
“We just tried to protect the 3-point line as much as we could and play great team defense, and we were able to do that tonight,” Bond said.
The Owls were 10 of 31 from the field, but took a 15-13 lead on a 3-pointer by DeCosey and led 30-27 at halftime.
Dunphy ranks fourth on Temple’s all-time wins list, and can pass James Usilton, Sr. with five more wins. John Chaney leads the list with 516 wins.
Temple won both meetings between the teams last season.
UConn was playing its fifth straight game without center Amida Brimah, who broke the middle finger on his right hand on Dec. 21 and isn’t expected back until mid-February.
Temple: Temple is 2-3 this season against ranked opponents. The Owls played three ranked teams in their first four games, losing to all of them. … Temple was averaging just under nine turnovers a game coming into the contest, the second-best mark in the nation. UConn forced 12 Owl turnovers on Tuesday.
UConn: The Huskies have not won six straight since their improbable run through the 2014 NCAA Tournament to earn the program’s fourth national championship. … Purvis has scored in double figures in every game this season and extended his streak of double-figure games to 20.
Temple: The Owls host East Carolina on Saturday.
UConn: The Huskies host Memphis at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday.