Thirty Something

Villanova coach Jay Wright came into Saturday's Big Five contest wanting to limit the Owls' three-point shots after they drained 22 over the last two games. But the strategy wound up giving Temple senior Ramone Moore a chance to use his first step to get to the basket for a career-high 32 points as the Owls dropped the Wildcats for the second time in three years, 78-67.

Villanova coach Jay Wright came into Saturday's Big Five contest wanting to limit the Owls' three-point shots after they drained 22 over the last two games.

But the strategy wound up giving Temple senior Ramone Moore a chance to use his first step to get to the basket for a career-high 32 points as the Owls dropped the Wildcats for the second time in three years, 78-67, at an emotionally-charged Liacouras Center.

"It's pick your poison with them," said Villanova junior Maalik Wayns, who led the Wildcats with 23 points. "They have three great guards with Moore, Juan Fernandez and Khalif Wyatt. Tonight, Ramone stepped up for them."

Moore shot just 8-of-21 from the field, but converted 14-of-15 free throws. He scored 13 of his points in the final eight minutes after Villanova tied the game at 54.

"I tried to be aggressive because I knew it would take one of us to have a big game to beat these guys," said Moore. "My shot wasn't falling early, and I said to myself I'm going to start driving.

"They were in the penalty with 11 minutes to go, and I did a good job getting to the free-throw line and making my free throws as well. The opportunity presented itself to go to the basket."

The Owls hit just 4-of-17 threes, but that was better than the 3-for-20 performance from the arc put up by the Wildcats, who shot just over 40 percent overall.

"In the first half, (Dominic) Cheek did a great job and hit a couple threes," said Moore. "But then we started closing out on the shooter and did a good job of not letting them hit as many threes as they're accustomed to. We rebounded as a team, made our free throws, it was a great team win."

T.J. DiLeo scored the layup that broke the 54-all tie with 8:19 to play. Moore then made two free throws, Anthony Lee hit a jumper and Moore scored on back-to-back layups to finish a 10-0 run and put the game out of reach.

"Ramone's the glue of our group, the guy everybody looks up to and his leadership was critical," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He's had a number of these games. Mone had to take over and he did. It's not unexpected."

While Moore's scoring was critical, so was the play of junior Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and freshman Anthony Lee inside. Hollis Jefferson produced his second career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Lee scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds.

If Villanova had an advantage coming in, it was expected to be on the inside with 6-10 Mouph Yarou, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. The Owls and Wildcats each grabbed 39 rebounds.

"I just used my speed, (tried to) outwork (Yarou), get in front of him and stop him from getting the ball," said the 6-foot-6 Jefferson. "When he made his move , I just tried to stay in front of him."

Wyatt added 13 points for the Owls, who improved to 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Five. Villanova, which does not have a senior in the rotation, dropped to 5-4, 2-1.

"We got beat by a better team," said Wright. "We hung with them. Their guard play controlled the game."

Jay Wright/Maalik Wayns/Mouph Yarou:

Ramone Moore/Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson:

Fran Dunphy:

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