Dayton Downer

Temple players insisted there was no emotional letdown heading into Saturday's Atlantic 10 opener against Dayton after upsetting Duke in their last game. Whether there was a Blue Devil hangover or not, Temple didn't come close to matching its nearly flawless performance on Wednesday, suffering an 87-77 loss that snapped a 25-game home winning streak that dated back over two full years.

Temple players insisted there was no emotional letdown heading into Saturday's Atlantic 10 opener against Dayton.

Coming off an emotionally-charged win over No. 5/No. 3 Duke in front of four times the crowd that attended the Saturday matinee against the Flyers, it was reasonable to wonder how the Owls would respond to success.

Whether there was a Blue Devil hangover or not, Temple didn't come close to matching its nearly flawless performance on Wednesday, suffering an 87-77 loss that snapped a 25-game home winning streak that dated back over two full years.

"Practice was good the last two days, everybody seemed like they had Duke behind them," said junior guard Khalif Wyatt. "We got over Duke quick. Dayton just came in here ready to go."

Holding a 60-55 lead with 8:55 to play, Temple saw Dayton score 16 of the next 18 points to take control, and unlike Buffalo just over a week ago – which let the Owls rally because of poor free-throw shooting – Dayton sealed the deal by hitting 19 of 21 from the line.

With the win, the Flyers improved to 12-4 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic 10- beating two of the conference favorites in Temple and Saint Louis. The Owls are 10-4, 0-1 with road trips to Saint Louis and Richmond scheduled next week.

Dayton's run started with a Paul Williams layup, and Luke Fabrizius tied the game on a three-pointer. After a Josh Parker three gave the Flyers the lead, Juan Fernandez responded with a layup that made it a 63-62 game.

But Dayton's Chris Johnson (16 points, 10 rebounds) rebounded a loose ball in a pack of Temple players, scored on the putback and was fouled, completing the three-point play. Fabrizius (13 points) added another three and Kevin Dillard scored to make it a 71-62 game.

"There were a lot of mistakes made," said senior guard Ramone Moore. "We left open three-point shooters. We were told not to leave Fabrizius open. Dillard did a great job knocking down shots, Parker hit a shot as well. It happened so quick."

A Fabrizius three that gave Dayton an early lead prompted a Fran Dunphy timeout 42 seconds into the game, so there were lapses from start to finish.

"We can't allow Fabrizius to get five (three-point shots), let alone three makes," said Dunphy. "Ramone Moore wasn't tough enough with the ball (on the first possession) and they ran it down and got a three. You have to be stronger than that.

"Every possession counts, and I wanted to remind them they were in for a dogfight. We responded a little bit, but we had the choice to put more space between us and them. We chose not to.

"Sometimes in life you get what you deserve and we got what we deserved today. We weren't as ready as we needed to be."

Temple held a 28-20 lead late in the first half but Dayton finished on an 11-3 run as the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 31. In the second half, the Owls led, 55-49, when Moore went to the line after being intentionally fouled on a breakaway. However, the senior missed both foul shots and a jumper on the ensuing possession as the Owls came away empty.

"I think that was the turning point in the game," said Moore. "I think it changed the game around. I kind of got out of it a little bit through the course of the game, but I've been around here long enough to know to keep my head in it and try to get through the game."

Moore did score 15 of his 17 points in the second half.

"The score was tied, I tried to come out aggressive, tried to get our team a lead," said Moore.

Wyatt, who dropped 22 on Duke Wednesday, scored 28 against Dayton – hitting five three-pointers –with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block and no turnovers. Fernandez was the third Temple scorer with 15.

Dillard and Parker scored 16 each to lead five Dayton players in double figures and the Flyers out-rebounded the Owls, 39-27. The Flyers scored 56 points in the second half – hitting seven threes and 17 free throws.

Temple has a tough task ahead to avoid starting 0-2 in the league.

"We didn't know how to stop their run, and those things happen," said Fernandez. "Once a game is over, no matter how big it is, a win or a loss, the season keeps going. That's how we approach every game.

"They're a good team, the A-10 is a good league. Now it's going to be tough going to Saint Louis and Richmond. You can't relax. We don't have anything guaranteed to us for beating Duke. We have to move on."

Owls Daily Top Stories