Belmont eliminates Temple for first tournament victory

Coach Rick Byrd’s Belmont Bruins picked up their first NCAA tournament victory on Tuesday night, and Temple coach Fran Dunphy is moving on.

The Bruins beat the Owls 81-70 in a streak-filled game in the First Four and will face No. 6 seeded Maryland on Thursday in the East Region.

Belmont had lost its previous seven appearances in the tournament, though it had given Duke a scare in 2008 in a 71-70 loss.

Guard Kevin McClain led Belmont with 28 points.

Temple fell behind early before going on a 14-2 run to take a 22-17 lead. Then Belmont got hot with a 18-7 run to take a halftime lead.

After falling further behind, Temple went on a 10-0 run and eventually grabbing the lead. Then Belmont responded with a 16-3 run and began to pull away.

Dunphy, 70, announced he would retire after this season. He succeeded John Chaney in 2006 and led the Owls to eight tournament appearances.

He also went to the tournament nine times during 17 seasons with Penn.




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