The 2008 A-10 championship shapes up to be a great matchup. Both are Philly (and Big 5) teams with many local players. The finale with decide a now best-of-three series. In two games during the regular season, the Hawks won, 68-67, at the Liacouras Center in January, while the Owls were victorious in March, 57-56, at The Palestra.
Charlotte, the A-10 tournament's number six seed, rebounded in both of the 49ers' previous games at the tournament for a 75-73 victory over 11th seed Rhode Island in the first round and a 69-65 quarterfinal win over number three seed Massachusetts last night.
Tonight, Charlotte got within five with seven minutes to play but didn't have enough in their surge to overtake no. 2 seed Temple.
Temple took an early 7-2 lead and extended it to 25-14 on Chris Clark's three free throws after being fouled beyond the arc with 3:59 left in the first half. The Owls were up 28-19 at the break.
Leemire Goldwire's trey put Charlotte within five, 44-39.
Temple responded with a 7-0 run to extend the edge back to 12 points, 51-39, with 3:23 left to play.
Charlotte made just 2-of-14 field goal attempts in the final minutes of the game, perhaps the physical and emotional toll from URI and UM taking its due. Or maybe it was just the Owls.
Charlotte shot 27.1 percent from the floor and made 6-of-32 3-point field goal attempts (18.8%). The Owls hit 40.4 percent from the floor. TU also made six treys, but shot eight fewer times (24).
Temple had a 48-28 edge on the boards but had 19 turnovers to the 49ers' 10. Temple made 10 of 13 free throw attempts in the second half.
Tomorrow's game will be televised by ESPN. Live stats and other media are available at the A-10 website.