Temple 76, Villanova 61

Scootie Randall scored 21 points and Anthony Lee had 16 to lead

unbeaten Temple to a 76-61 win over Villanova on Wednesday

night.

Temple won for the first time since 1990 at Villanova’s Pavilion

and is 6-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 season. Up next for

the Owls, a date Saturday against No. 2 Duke at the Izod

Center.

This was the final scheduled matchup between the rivals in this

current conference alignment. The Owls leave the Atlantic 10 after

this season to join the Wildcats in the Big East.

The Owls simply dominated the second half against the

overmatched Wildcats (4-4). Villanova struggled to make shots until

garbage time in the second half and had no answer in the interior

for Lee’s easy drives and buckets.

James Bell led Villanova with 15 points.

Until Tony Chennault hit a 3 with 9:41 left in the game, the

Wildcats had gone 0 for 9 from the floor with six turnovers in the

second half. Khalif Wyatt and Randall each hit 3s to spark the Owls

on a 18-2 run to open the half and turn a four-point halftime

deficit into a 12-point lead.

But the Wildcats kept shooting and the Owls failed to really put

them away.

Chennault hit another 3 to make it a seven-point game and ignite

the idea of a comeback.

It was short lived. Lee worked his way past Villanova’s big men

for two layups and five straight points, pushing Temple’s lead to

62-49. From there, the Owls simply rolled, and beat the Wildcats

for the second straight season.

Temple’s ”I Believe That We Have Won” chant took over the

Pavilion as giddy Owls fans had a rare reason to celebrate this Big

5 win.

The Owls won without much production from Khalif Wyatt, who

entered with a 15.6 average. He made his first shot, then missed

the next nine, and finished with 13 points on 4 of 16 shooting.

Coach Fran Dunphy has another likely NCAA tournament team on his

hand and the Owls are looking sharp.

Villanova shot a respectable 52 percent in the first half to

lead 36-32 at halftime. But the Wildcats totally lost their

shooting touch in the second half, and fans fled for the exits with

the home team trailing by 13 points with 3:38 left in the game.

Under coach Jay Wright, the Wildcats had turned into the premier

program in the city and one of the best in the Big East,

highlighted by a trip to the Final Four in 2009. The program has

gone cold the last two seasons, including a 19-loss disaster last

season, and losses this year to Ivy League school Columbia and an

overtime head scratcher to city rival La Salle.

Lavoy Allen, Temple’s career leading rebounder, former Villanova

point guard Maalik Wayns and Evan Turner were all at the game. All

three play for the Philadelphia 76ers.

In other Temple news, Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw said about

75 people had expressed interest in the program’s vacant football

job. Steve Addazio bolted the Owls on Tuesday after two seasons to

take the job at Boston College. Bradshaw said potential candidates

include head coaches involved in this season’s bowl games,

assistants and NFL assistants. Bradshaw said it was important to

hire someone who ”embraces everything Temple.”

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Follow Dan Gelston at www.twitter.com/APGelston