|First Time For. ...|
Khalif Wyatt led the Owls with 31 points
Nothing has been easy this season for the Temple University men's basketball team, not even a game that has been as automatic as they come. St. Bonaventure had been 0-30 at Temple in the long history of the two programs. The Bonnies also came to Philadelphia on a six-game losing streak. But they are now 1-30 all-time after a stunning 81-78 victory over the Owls on Saturday.
Nothing has been easy this season for the Temple University men's basketball team, not even a game that has been as automatic as they come.
St. Bonaventure had been 0-30 at Temple in the long history of the two programs. The Bonnies also came to Philadelphia on a six-game losing streak.
But they are now 1-30 all-time after a stunning 81-78 victory over the Owls on Saturday.
Temple - coming off a game it scored the last 10 points to nip George Washington Wednesday - fell to 12-5 overall, 2-2 in the Atlantic 10. St. Bonaventure is 8-9, 1-3.
While surely not absolving his team of its defensive liabilities, Temple coach Fran Dunphy credited a Bonnies squad that was 11-for-18 from three-point range and had 21 assists to 10 turnovers.
"They played great, they were ready to go right from the start and shot the ball extremely well," said Dunphy. "They were 0-3 in the league, best 0-3 in anybody's league in America. It's pretty much the same group that won our league tournament last year, without a very good player (Andrew Nicholson) obviously, but really solid veteran guys."
Khalif Wyatt led the way for Temple with 31 points and he tried to take over the game down the stretch, but the Bonnies always seemed to answer.
Traling by four at the half, the Owls never caught up. They closed within two at 65-63 with 4:30 to go, but the Bonnies hit back-to-back layups.
Down three, Temple had a chance to tie but Scootie Randall's corner three was off target. Wyatt hit a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to one, but Demetrius Conger hit a three-pointer at the other end with 2:40 to play and Chris Johnson added another for the dagger.
"They made a lot of shots," said Wyatt, who fouled out on a charge in the closing minutes where his shot went in the basket. "They played harder than us, they outworked us and there's really no excuse for it. I give a lot of credit to St. Bonaventure. They deserved to win today.
"We have to get off to better starts. We have to find a way to come out with some energy and defensive intensity."
Jake O'Brien led the way for the Owls in the first half, scoring 16 points in 15 minutes on 6-of-8 shooting. But he was just 0-for-3 after the break, missing all three shots in seven minutes.
"I was able to knock down a few shots early, teammates did a good job setting me up," said O'Brien. "Obviously in the second half, I didn't get as many looks. It's just the flow of the game."
Knowing O'Brien's shooting can be streaky, Dunphy admitted he lost some faith when the forward bricked a foul-line jumper on his first second-half attempt.
"The one shot he took at the foul line versus zone was not a shot, I wasn't sure what it was," said Dunphy. "He was not the same guy in the second half. We have to manage that a little bit better. The one jumper was troubling to be honest with you, and Anthony Lee gave us some great minutes in the second half after not being as ready to start the game."
T.J. Dileo scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-9 on threes in arguably the most aggressive offensive game of the fifth-year senior's career. He had four assists, two steals and no turnovers.
"I thought T.J. again, must have had four in-and-outs on threes," said Dunphy. "But he was great. Everything he tried to do was very helpful."
St.Bonaventure placed five players in double figures, with Matthew Wright leading the way with 22 points.
"They were a better basketball team than we were, I don't think there was any confusing who was the better team," said Dunphy. "We're in a little bit of a funk, no doubt about it. We needed a better, smarter effort defensively."
Wyatt/O'Brien: Listen to Audio
Dunphy: Listen to Audio