Three-Pointer in Final Minute Helps Temple Men's Basketball Edge Delaware, 66-63
December 30, 2011
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Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Temple guard Khalif Wyatt hadn’t hit a shot since midway through the first half, but he stepped up when it counted Friday night when he knocked down a straight away three-pointer from 25-feet out with 35 seconds left and then hit two free throws with six seconds remaining as the Owls spoiled the University of Delaware upset bid with a 66-63 win at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Delaware (5-6), which lost at home for the first time in five outings this season, had taken a 63-61 lead on a three-pointer by freshman Kyle Anderson with 2:01 left, but the Hens never scored again and lost their second straight game.
The contest was played in front of an enthusiastic gathering of 4,234, the largest attendance at the BCC since a crowd of 4,583 was on hand for the Hofstra game back on Feb. 19, 2005.
Temple (9-3), which won its third straight game, got double-figure scoring from every starter except Wyatt, the team's second leading scorer (14.9 points per game) who made just 2 of 11 shots from the field for the game and had missed five straight attempts before hitting the biggest field goal of the game.
Rahlir Jefferson-Hollis led the Owls with 13 points and eight rebounds, Anthony Lee added a career-high 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks, Juan Fernandez contributed 11 points, and Ramone Moore chipped in with 10 points and a game-high six assists.
Delaware guard Devon Saddler (at right) led the Hens with 18 points and five rebounds while junior forward Kelvin McNeil (at left) contributed the best game of his career, coming off the bench to score a career-high 13 points and pull four rebounds. Jamelle Hagins added six points and a team-high eight rebounds but saw his streak of seven straight double-doubles snapped.
“Our guys are very competitive and we hate to lose,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross, whose team had taken a 31-30 advantage at halftime. “We have a very good basketball team, but you have to give credit to Temple. They beat us, we didn’t beat ourselves. You also have to give credit to Khalif Wyatt for hitting that big shot there at the end.”
The Owls, who earlier this season defeated the likes of Villanova, Penn, and Rice, upended the Hens for the 17th straight time since January, 1963.
The hotly-contested battle featured three ties and eight lead changes and neither team led by more than five points the entire second half.
Delaware had led by as many as eight points in the opening half, using a 6-0 run capped by three points from McNeil to go up 25-17 with 4:48 left. Anderson later added a three-pointer as the Hens led 31-26 with 1:37 left before Temple scored the last five points of the stanza to cut the halftime margin to one.
The Hens still led 40-39 seven minutes into the second half before Temple scored seven straight points to regain and lead. The Owls maintained that lead until an Anderson jumper knotted the score at 49-49 with 8:43 remaining.
The Owls followed with a 7-2 run capped by a steal and dunk from T.J. DiLeo to take their biggest lead since the opening minutes of the game at 56-51 with 6:10 remaining and stayed in front until a three-point play by Jarvis Threatt and a layup from Khalid Lewis put the Hens back on top at 60-59 at the 2:45 mark. Temple’s Hollis-Jefferson answered with a jumper 17 seconds later to put the Owls back in the lead but the Hens took it right back on Anderson’s key three-pointer.
Neither team managed to score again until Wyatt’s big three-pointer. After Saddler missed a jumper for Delaware, Temple’s Moore grabbed the rebound, sprinted down the right side of the court, and found Wyatt alone behind the top of the key. The junior then calmy stroked a 25-footer for what proved to be the game-winner.
Delaware had the chance to regain the lead but Anderson’s three-point attempt with 12 seconds left was off the mark. The Hens then fouled Temple three times in the next three seconds with Wyatt finally hitting both ends of a one-and-one situation with six seconds left.
The Hens had another chance to tie the game and send it into overtime but an off-balance three-point attempt by Saddler with several hands in his face hit the back of the rim and fell off as the horn sounded.
Delaware will have little time to think about the loss as the Blue Hens head to North Carolina to resume Colonial Athletic Association action play Monday, Jan. 2, at UNC Wilmington.Back To Men's Basketball Home Men's Basketball Story Archive