New York, NY – Syracuse gave coach Jim Boeheim his 900th victory on Monday. No. 901 will have to wait.
Khalif Wyatt scored a career-high 33 points and Anthony Lee added 21 with nine rebounds, as Temple handed the third-ranked Orange their first loss of the season with an 83-79 decision at Madison Square Garden.
The Owls (9-2) were coming off a 72-62 home loss to Canisius on Wednesday. They made just 4-of-28 shots from three-point range in that setback, but on Saturday connected on 8-of-24 from distance and sank 29-of-36 free throws to beat a top-10 team for the fifth straight year.
C.J. Fair scored 25 for Syracuse (10-1), which gave Boeheim his milestone win on Monday in a 72-68 victory over Detroit at the Carrier Dome. The Orange nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half five days ago, and on Saturday couldn't recover from their first second-half deficit of the season.
Syracuse, which had won 52 straight non-conference regular-season games, held a 40-38 lead at the half, but Temple opened the second 20 minutes with the first six points as part of a 13-2 run. Wyatt drained a trio of free throws for a 51-42 lead before the Orange picked up their first field goal of the second half on a driving layup by Michael Carter-Williams with 15:16 left.
Carter-Williams was fouled on the play and hit the ensuing free throw before the Orange forced a turnover with pressure on the inbounds and cashed in with a bucket from Brandon Triche. The continuing press fueled an 11-2 Syracuse run that Fair finished with a layup, tying it at 53-53.
Temple didn't wilt and threes by Scootie Randall and Quenton DeCosey sandwiched around a bucket by Carter-Williams gave the Owls a 65-61 advantage. Another trey by Randall with 7:49 left made it 70-62.
Syracuse followed with a 10-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Fair, to make it a two-point game with three minutes left. Randall missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing Temple possession and Fair pulled down the defensive rebound, but stepped out of bounds as he tried to drive.
Carter-Williams had a chance to tie it on Syracuse's next trip, but hit only one from the line, where the sophomore and the rest of his teammates had troubles all day long.
Temple, for the most part, did not.
Wyatt hit two from the stripe and Syracuse was called for a questionable offensive foul with 48 seconds left, leading to another pair of free throws from Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson for a five-point margin.
As Syracuse managed to keep it close with a pair of layups, Wyatt calmly made four free throws to keep it a five-point game. A dunk by Triche again kept the Orange within three and DeCosey -- who had missed two free throws earlier -- managed to make the second of his two from the stripe with 8.7 seconds remaining to seal it for the Owls.
Temple made 9-of-12 from the line in the final minute and 20-of-26 in the second half. Wyatt didn't miss any of his 15 attempts throughout the contest.
The Orange managed only a 19-of-34 effort at the stripe, including a 7-of-15 performance from Carter-Williams, who finished with 13 points and six assists.
Syracuse opened a 24-14 lead with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half, but Temple responded with a 12-3 run. A layup by Lee pulled the Owls within 27-26 and they had a chance to grab the lead on the ensuing possession, but Fair blocked a shot.
Fair and Wyatt then dominated for their respective teams over the final five minutes. Fair scored six Syracuse points around a three by Wyatt to give the Orange a 33-29 advantage.
A pair of free throws by Lee with 1:59 left in the half tied it for the Owls at 35-35, but Fair hit two from the line and added a short jumper after a Carter-Williams free throw to extend the Syracuse edge to five before a Wyatt three in the final minute sent the Owls to the break down just 40-38.
Wyatt scored 20 points in the first half.
Triche finished with 17 points for Syracuse, which shot 44.6 percent from the field and made only 2-of-12 three-point tries ... Syracuse sharpshooter James Southerland, who tied a school record with nine 3-pointers in a win over Arkansas last month, missed both of his long-range attempts and finished with six points and nine rebounds ... Randall had only six points for Temple, which shot just 39 percent from the field ... Syracuse still leads the all-time series, 16-14, but Temple has won the last two meetings. The schools hadn't faced each other since an Owls victory on March 28, 2002 in the consolation game of the NIT -- also at Madison Square Garden.