PHILADELPHIA — Take away Shizz Alston Jr. and Temple was 2 of 9 from the foul line on Wednesday night against Wisconsin.
When it came down to crunch time, though, the Badgers kept fouling the wrong guy.
Shizz Alston Jr. scored 22 points and hit four decisive free throws to set a school record and lead Temple to a 59-55 victory over Wisconsin.
“He was not the guy we wanted to foul,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “They did a good job of getting the ball to him, and good players find a way to go get it.”
Ethan Happ matched a season-high with 23 points, but was held scoreless over the final 5 minutes, 52 seconds for the Badgers (4-6), who have dropped three of four.
Obi Enechionyia had 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Temple (5-2), including two rejections of Happ inside over the final three minutes in Owls’ home opener.
Wisconsin didn’t score over the final 3:27.
“We knew were going to have to be solid for all 40 minutes. And we were pretty solid for 36 or 37,” Gard said.
Alston, who shot 6 of 6 from the line, has made a school-record 52 consecutive foul shots dating to last December. He drilled two with 1:09 left to put Temple ahead 57-55, and buried two more to put it away with 4.6 seconds remaining as the Owls won for the second time in four games.
Alston’s tiebreaking free throws gave him 50 straight to surpass Lynn Greer’s school record set in March 2001. Greer saw it firsthand from the stands.
After an empty possession for each side, Wisconsin’s Kobe King missed a straightaway 3-pointer before Alston finished it at the line.
“That’s exactly what we wanted,” Gard said of King’s shot. “If that wasn’t open, then we were looking for Happ inside.”
Happ hit 11 of 19 shots, and added six rebounds as the Badgers continued their difficult early-season schedule. Wisconsin has already played four ranked teams and two Big Ten Conference games.
Khalil Iverson added nine points and six rebounds.
The Owls, who entered 3-0 against Power 5 teams with victories over Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina, got two buckets from Quinton Rose in an 8-0 run to go ahead 47-41 with 10:47 left.
Happ responded with three inside baskets in Wisconsin’s ensuing 12-3 spurt. But Temple rallied to tie it with two minutes left after Enechionyia blocked Happ and Rose hit one of two foul shots on the next possession.