Wait Till Next Week

The Temple men's basketball team will have to wait until next week to secure the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. It will also have to share this year's Big 5 title with St. Joe's after the Hawks ended the 22nd-ranked Owls' 11-game winning streak with an 82-72 victory at Hagan Arena on Saturday night.

The Temple men's basketball team will have to wait until next week to secure the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

It will also have to share this year's Big 5 title with St. Joe's after the Hawks ended the 22nd-ranked Owls' 11-game winning streak with an 82-72 victory at Hagan Arena on Saturday night.

Micheal Eric scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson added 14 as the Owls (22-6 overall, 11-3 Atlantic 10, 3-1 Big 5) received solid offensive contribution from their frontcourt. But for once, Temple's talented trio of guards were all held in check.

Ramone Moore scored 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting, Khalif Wyatt notched 11 and Juan Fernandez totaled three. The Hawks, meanwhile, received a combined 40 points from Langston Galloway (22) and Carl Jones (18) – who were both shut down in Temple's 78-60 thrashing of the Hawks on Jan. 28.

Halil Kanacevic scored 14 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out six assists for the Hawks, who snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Owls.

Temple had a chance to wrap up a share of the A-10's regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament after Saint Louis lost at Rhode Island earlier in the day.

Any Billikens' loss or Temple win in the final two games of the season for either team still earns the Owls the No. 1 seed. Any combination of two Saint Louis losses or Temple wins makes the Owls the outright champion.

The Owls must also settle for a split of the city series title as Saturday's game was designated as this season's Big 5 contest and the earlier win over the Hawks was an A-10 game only. Both teams finished 3-1 in the Big 5 as the Hawks lost to Penn.

"We got out of character offensively," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "What it leads to is really good offense for the opposition. You take a good shot, you're probably floor-balanced. You don't. … We left Galloway and Jones a couple times in the second half.

"We didn't pay attention to who we are too many times. We did really a couple foolish things to get ourselves in foul trouble too, but that's the out-of-character part."

An Eric dunk gave Temple a 47-44 lead with 14:39 to play, but Jones made a pair of threes and two free throws in a 12-4 run that gave the Hawks control.

A Moore jumper at the 8:11 mark brought the Owls back within one, but they never pulled ahead. A Ron Roberts dunk and another Jones three pushed the lead back to six, and the Hawks grabbed several key offensive rebounds down the stretch to keep Temple from mounting a comeback.

"We knew at some point they'd make their run," said Moore. "We tried to maintain those guys, but they hit a lot of timely shots and got back into the lead."

Temple debuted in the national rankings this week at No. 22, but that spot is certainly in jeopardy after falling to a St. Joe's team that just suffered a home loss to Richmond.

The Owls survived an 80-79 overtime win at La Salle on Wednesday, but couldn't pull off the second half of the Big 5 road trip Saturday.

"There was a big difference from the first time (playing St. Joe's), but we knew coming in it would be different," said Moore. "Last time we got out to a big lead and those guys weren't able to get back in the game. We knew we had to be ready, we knew what to expect, but you have to give those guys credit.

"It was the same environment as Wednesday, Big 5 game. They came out fired up. There's a lot of different things to look back on why we lost, but we can't really get down on ourselves. It's our first loss in two month. We'll watch film and learn from our mistakes."

Dunphy said he has no problem dwelling on the Owls' first defeat since Jan. 14.

"We'll dwell on it immeasurably on Monday," said Dunphy. "We'll watch every play. I'm not sure it's helping them, but it's helping me. It's human nature, it gets your attention more after a loss.

"We didn't deserve to win tonight. We weren't tough enough, smart enough, or knowledgeable enough of who we are in a place like this."

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