PHILADELPHIA, Pa. 2/8/12 – It was a game where the Temple Owls men’s basketball team needed some luck. They did not play their best basketball against the George Washington Colonials, but a rally over the last seven and a half minutes gave Temple a 79 – 72 victory at the Liacouris Center. Senior guard Ramone Moore scored a game-high 25 points, while Junior guard Khalif Wyatt netted 22. With the win Temple stays on top of the Atlantic 10 standings.
“If you’re going to have a good year there are going to be a couple of games where you just might get lucky, and this was certainly one of them,” said Temple Coach Fran Dunphy.
Up until the last seven and a half minutes George Washington was in control of the game. The deficit at halftime was 41 – 29. The Colonials were scoring inside, and the Owls were shooting a poor 32.1%. Later in the second half the tide began to turn. GW led 65 – 54 with 7:42 on the clock. A layup by Redshirt Freshman Anthony Lee began an 11 – 4 Temple run. With 5:49 to play George Washington lost their leading scorer and ball handler Tony Taylor as he fouled out. A three by Redshirt Junior guard T.J. DiLeo brought Temple within 4 at 69 – 65 at the 4:13 mark. DiLeo’s contributions are not always found in the stat sheet, but they are recognized by Dunphy.
“He made a huge three and a great steal,” Dunphy said Dunphy. “We can’t live without him. I’m happy he came through like he did.”
Then Moore and Wyatt took over down the stretch, and the defense stopped George Washington. To the end of the game Wyatt scored 9 points and Moore 3 while the Colonials had only a three by guard Lasan Kromah who led the Colonials in scoring with 22 points. A steal by DiLeo and a jumper by Wyatt brought Temple to within 69 – 68. A steal and three-pointer by Moore gave Temple a 71 – 69 lead that George Washington would not overcome. Moore felt the sense of urgency to get the control of the game for the Owls.
“We wanted to chip their lead down and get a stop on each possession,” said Moore. “I think the turning point of the game was when Tony Taylor fouled out. We pressured the ball handlers and got a lot of key turnovers. That lead to easy baskets on the offensive end.”
“There are stresses in each game on both teams,” said Dunphy. “We made a couple of baskets, now the stress goes up for GW. We started making shots. It increases their stress level and gets them out of sorts a little bit. They played well and deserved the game. We were very fortunate to win that game.”
Temple improves to 18 – 5 on the season, and are 7 – 2 in the Atlantic 10. They were fortunate, but it was a win.
Written By: Glenn Papazian