Phelps, SMU edge Temple at Moody Coliseum to cap off dramatic game

When Zhuric Phelps stepped up for his two free-throw attempts in the last few seconds of the game, there was a strong sense of anticipation swelling around the Moody Coliseum.

When the first of the two clanged off the rim, that anticipation quickly turned to skepticism, epitomised by the groans around the arena. But no one had more confidence than Phelps himself. He braced for the second shot and buried it into the net, knowing he had almost assured victory for his team with three second left on the clock.

The SMU Mustangs beat the Temple Owls in a one-point game. The final score was 72-71.

“I feel relieved,” he said after the game. “We have had experience in these kind of games and this time we were locked in to try to get this win.”

The entire game was a back and forth affair between both sides, and at the break SMU led by only two points, 32-30. The second half continued in the same way, and both teams were separated by the one-point at the end.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” said SMU head coach Rob Lanier. “Temple is a really good team who are competing for the title and for us to do this means we were resilient.”

Phelps finished the game with 19 points, five assists, and four steals, leading the Mustangs for the night. Two SMU forwards, Efe Odigie and Samuell Williamson, also recorded 10 points.

SMU now has a 9-16 record this season and a 4-8 record in the American Athletic Conference. The Mustangs travel to Kansas to play Wichita State on Sunday, Feb. 12.