Khalif Wyatt grabbed his left thumb -- the one alarmingly wrapped in black support tape -- pulled it toward his stomach and grimaced.
His non-shooting hand dangled uselessly as he set up behind the free-throw line. He carefully placed it on the bottom of the ball, cautiously dribbled a couple times, then put both hands on it and let it fly.
Painful, but perfect.
Then, he did it five more times.
Wyatt scored 31 points and made six decisive free throws in the final 32 seconds Friday, leading Temple to a 76-72 victory over North Carolina State in the second round of the East Region.
No one-and-done for Temple this time. The Owls' best player wouldn't have it.
''He's as tough a competitor as I've had an opportunity to coach,'' Temple's Fran Dunphy said. ''He wants the moment.''
The ninth-seeded Owls (24-9) will face winner of the Indiana-James Madison game Sunday, which represents a breakthrough for Temple all by itself.
The Owls are trying to shed their reputation as an easy-ou...