PHILADELPHIA, PA. 1/23/2013 – The Temple Owls were in need of a bounce-back win after losing a home game to Saint Bonaventure last weekend. The Owls would have to get it against the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in a Big Five match up at the Liacouris Center. Penn was ready to make Big Five magic happen leading the Owls most of the second half. Enter Khalif Wyatt with a game-high 26 points to lead Temple to a 76 – 69 over a feisty Penn team. Wyatt scored 21 points in the second half. When Temple needed it, Wyatt supplied the offense.
“I tried to take advantage of what the defense was giving me,” Wyatt said about his offense in the second half. “Earlier I was trying to get everyone involved. I did the same thing in the second half, but I got opportunities to score, got some open looks, got out on transition. Nothing changed that much, I just took what the defense was giving me.”
With 16:18 to play in the second half the Red and Blue held a 45 – 36 lead. The Quakers led at halftime by two points. Wyatt began to lift the Owls scoring their next 7 consecutive points cutting the Penn advantage to 45 – 43 on a three-pointer with 14:11 to play in the half.
However, the Penn team refused to fold. The Red and Blue responded with a 7 – 2 run to move in front 52 – 45 at the 12:54 mark. Wyatt would heat up again scoring the next 7 points of the game. His three-ball would tie the score at 52 at the 10:10 mark. The game went back and forth as Temple guard T.J. DiLeo matched threes with Penn guards Miles Cartwright and Patrick-Lucas Perry. Penn grimly held on to a 64 – 63 lead until Wyatt made a hard to believe three-pointer at the 5:25 mark to give the Owls the lead they would never relinquish. Temple closed the game with a 10 – 5 run and get their thirteenth win of the season. Temple Coach Fran Dunphy felt his team was fortunate to get the win.
“This is the fourth year in a row they played better than we did,” Dunphy said. “We just found a way to get more points. “
“What is happening now is that we are inconsistent and not playing good basketball. There is a little ray of hope that I saw tonight. We all can play better.”
Despite the effort Penn felt the sting of defeat.
“In the end we lost the game on what we did not do,” said Penn Coach Jerome Allen. “We’re supposed to compete and we’re supposed to win.”
In addition to Wyatt Temple got 16 points from center Anthony Lee and 14 from forward Jake O’Brien. The Owls made 25 of 49 shots (51%). For Penn Cartwright scored a team-high 21 points. Lucas-Perry scored 15 points making 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Forward Darien
Nelson-Henry added 17 points on close in shots. Penn shot 45.3% (24 – 53).
The Owls improve to 13 – 5 on the season and have a 2 – 0 Big Five record. Temple prepare for a Saturday matchup at Butler. The Cherry and White played without forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson who sat out with a knee area injury.
“We’re not happy with the way we are playing now, but we’ll take the win,” Wyatt said. “We need to get ready for Butler. That will be a good test for us.”
Penn falls to 3 – 15 and dropped their four Big Five games. The Quakers return to action on February 1 when Columbia comes to visit.
At halftime of this game Temple University honored Al Shrier for his 60 years of service to the university by retiring his brief case.
Written By: Glenn Papazian