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Temple notebook: Alston sets new record, Brown bounces back from injury

12/07/2017, 1:15am EST
By Zach Drapkin & Dan Wilson

Shizz Alston Jr. set the Temple record for consecutive foul shots made on Wednesday night. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Zach Drapkin (@ZachDrapkin)
Dan Wilson (@Dan_Wilson4)
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With his 6-of-6 performance from the line against Wisconsin, Temple junior Shizz Alston Jr. set a new program record of 52 consecutive made free throws.

The streak goes back to Dec. 28 of last year, a span of 26 games, and passes the previous mark of 49 established by Lynn Greer, whom Alston grew up idolizing, and who was in the building to watch Alston break the record.

“I looked up to Lynn growing up and I was at almost every one of his home games when he played here,” Alston said. “It means a lot to me, him being here and me getting the record while he’s here.”

Alston grew up in Philly, where his father, Levan Alston Sr., also played at Temple. Alston Sr. would ride his son regularly to practice his free throws, and the hard work certainly paid off.

Alston Jr.’s last four free throws on Wednesday were more important to the course of the game than they were to any record.

With the game tied and 1:09 remaining, Alston knocked down a pair from the stripe to take a 57-55 lead. Those two makes decided the game.

Wisconsin failed to convert a 3-pointer down two on its final offensive series, and Temple snagged the rebound, eventually having it slapped out of bounds with six seconds to go.

The inbounds pass found its way to Alston, who was promptly fouled, and who pushed the lead to two possessions with two more free throws, sealing the game.

“What was most important was us getting the win,” Alston said. “The record doesn’t really mean much if we would have lost, so I’m glad we got the win.”

Alston led the Owls with 22 points against Wisconsin, shooting 7-of-15 from the field and also racking up a team-high four assists and three rebounds.

He’ll aim to replicate that performance against Saint Joseph’s on Saturday. Temple is 0-2 this year against the Atlantic 10 and 0-1 in Big 5 play, so the Owls are hoping to pick up their first win in both those columns. -- Zach Drapkin

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Josh Brown (above) briefly excited Wednesday night's game after getting elbowed in the nose. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Bouncing back from injury is nothing new for Josh Brown.

Brown had Achilles tendon surgery after the 2015-16 season and attempted a return last season, but was unable to make it work. After five games, he had to shut it down, take a redshirt and come back healthy this season.

In the second half of Temple’s 59-55 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night, Brown suffered yet another injury. This one, however, wasn’t nearly as serious, though it was a lot bloodier.

With 16:36 left in the second half, Brown was sidelined once again, this time much more briefly. The elbow of Badgers sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl smashed into Brown’s nose as Pritzl sprinted towards the hoop for an offensive rebound.

Blood spewed from Brown’s nose onto his jersey, sending the 6-3 guard to the sideline, and after a long review, a flagrant foul was called on Pritzl.

“No hard feelings against [Pritzl],” Brown said. “It was a bang-bang play and it was an accident. It was just him trying to be a good competitor and I was doing the same thing, just happened to be that my nose turned out to be in the middle of it.”

“I just wanted to get back out there as quickly as possible,” he added

Brown missed just six minutes, except when he re-entered it was wearing a nameless No. 14 jersey instead of his usual No. 1 on his back.

Brown finished Wednesday’s game with 10 points on 5-8 shooting as well as eight rebounds.

Although Brown added that he felt fine following the win, he does plan to have his nose x-rayed on Thursday. He still expects to play on Saturday in the Owls game against St. Joe’s.

Back and fully healthy for the Owls’ 2017-18 campaign, Brown is averaging 8.1 ppg, 3.6 apg and 3.4 rpg. He’s shooting on 37.3 percent from the field overall, but 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Brown has never been a player to light up the court with his scoring. The 6-foot-3 Newark, N.J. native has never averaged in double figures and he’s only scored more than 15 points twice in his 112-game career with the Owls.

However, Brown does provide a player who Owls coach Fran Dunphy can run his offense through. Brown was the starting point guard on the team two years ago on an Owls team that was a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament, a season in which he averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds.

“I’m starting to get my footing back after coming back from injury, but overall we’re just doing a good job as a team playing together and finding our niche,” Brown said. “We’re also doing a good job both offensively and defensively with communicating, so we’re gelling, but we still have to move onto the next game.”


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