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
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
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
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
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.”
Follow Dan Gelston at www.twitter.com/APGelston