The Temple Owls led from start to finish behind a solid defensive effort to beat the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 72 – 54 on Coached vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Day at the Palestra. Temple limited Saint Joseph’s to 37.5% shooting, and more importantly to 3 of 12 from the three-point line.
“That is the goal for what we do,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy about the defensive effort and guarding the three-point shot. “We like to think our numbers are good in keeping people off the three-point line and the percentage piece as well. To limit shots, that was a good thing for us.”
In the second half Saint Joseph’s whittled the Temple lead to 10 at 43 – 33. Temple responded with a 9 – 0 run capped by a three-pointer by Sophomore Guard Tony DiLeo giving Temple a 52 – 33 lead with 13:22 remaining. Saint Joseph’s was held scoreless for two and a half minutes in that stretch. The Temple lead grew to 22 points on two free throws by Sophomore Guard Khalif Wyatt at the 2:41 mark giving the Owls a 70 – 48 lead. The Hawks would get no closer than 14 for the rest of the game.
“We got out in transition,” said Temple Senior Forward Lavoy Allen about how his team went on the run. “We played real solid defense there. When we do that and get into transition, we do a pretty good job.”
It was his fourth double-double of the season as Allen scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Saint Joseph’s Coach Phil Martelli saw the Temple run in both the first half and the second half as another example of the Hawks inability to score consistently.
“We get into a drought and right now we are not good enough to get back from those,” Martelli said. “It is clear, they scored and we didn’t score.”
In the first half it took nearly three minutes for Saint Joseph’s to score its first basket, a layup by Senior Forward Idris Hilliard. The Hawks got to within a point at 11 - 10 on a basket by Freshman Forward Ronald Roberts. Temple answered by scoring the next 12 points keyed by 5 straight by Junior Guard Ramone Moore to move in front 23 – 10. The Cherry and White took a 32 – 22 halftime lead.
Temple had a 38 – 23 rebounding edge, although only a 12 – 10 advantage on the offensive end.
“The thing that will keep me up is that we didn’t get after it,” Martelli said. ”It was collective. We weren’t fierce enough on the glass.”
Dunphy saw more than the total number, he saw the overall meaning especially in offensive rebounding.
“I look at 12 - 10 on the offensive rebounds, because if they miss shots we should be getting defensive rebounds,” said Dunphy. “The offensive rebounds, Lavoy had two of them to keep possessions alive which is critical if they were going to make their run at the end of the game. The offensive rebounding for us was good, but they had 10 and that’s a lot of offensive rebounds.”
Junior Forward Scootie Randall scored a team-high 17 points. Junior Guard Ramone Moore added 10 points and a career-high 8 assists. Temple was 25 – 51 from the floor for 49%, and made 6 of 15 three-pointers. The Owls were efficient on offense as they were credited with 20 assists on 25 baskets.
Sophomore Guard Carl Jones scored a game-high 19 points. Roberts added 17 points .
“Ron has a high engine and a high motor for a team that needs more of that,” said Martelli.
Temple Junior Guard Juan Fernandez did not play in the game with a bruised knee.
Temple improves to 15 – 5 on the season, 5 – 2 in the Atlantic 10. The Owls prepare for another city rival as they meet La Salle on February 5. Saint Joseph’s looks for their first Atlantic 10 win against Richmond on February 5 as the Hawks drop to 0 – 7 in the league and 5 – 16 overall.
This was the 8th consecutive victory for the Owls against their intra-city rivals.
“They’re our biggest rival, beating them is huge for our fan base,” said Allen.
Key Run of the Game
Temple held a 43 – 33 lead with 15:37 on the clock on a Darius Quarles three-pointer. The Hawks would not score for another two and a half minutes. Temple went on a 9 – 0 run to take a 19 point lead at 52 – 33 with 13:23 to play capped by a Tony DiLeo trey. Saint Joseph’s would get no closer than 13 in the game.
Key Stat of the Game
Temple shot 49% for the game (25 – 51) and made 6 of 15 from beyond the arc. Saint Joseph’s was 21 – 56 for 37.5%, but made only 3 of 12 tries from deep. Temple also had a 38 – 23 rebounding edge, just 12 – 10 on the offensive glass.
Key Players in the Game
For Saint Joseph’s – Ronald Roberts scored 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting. Carl Jones had a game-high 19 points and handed out 3 assists.
For Temple – Lavoy Allen had his fourth double-double of the season as he scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, 5 on offense. Scootie Randall added 17 points on 6 -9 shooting and 3 of 5 from distance. Randall also contributed 7 rebounds.
Point Where the Game Was Decided
Temple Freshman Guard Khalif Wyatt sank two free throws with 5:42 to play that gave Temple their largest lead at 70 – 48.
Thoughts and Musings
The game was not as competitive as past games. Usually the feather fly when the Hawks and Owls meet. However, there were 7,342 people in attendance. There is still something special about a game in this building, especially when it is near capacity. The spirit and enthusiasm were there.
Schools want their special home-court advantage for their games. The Hawks have it and the Owls do as well. Saint Joseph’s should be commended for playing this game in a venue where more of their fans, Temple fans, and basketball fans in the city could see this game. It did add a lot to play in front of a near-full Palestra.
This was not the official Big Five game. That will take place at Temple on February 20.
Written By: Glenn Papazian