Temple men's basketball falls to No. 1 Villanova

The Owls were out-matched by Villanova and freshman Jalen Brunson on Wednesday night.

The Liacouras Center was packed on Wednesday night and the place was rocking from the opening tip.

The Owls were hosting No. 1 Villanova and freshman Jalen Brunson, who snubbed the Owls for the Wildcats despite his father Rick being a Temple standout, and the crowd was in a frenzy hoping for a legendary Big 5 upset.

It didn't happen. It hasn't happened much recently actually as Villanova has won 14 straight in the City Series.

The Wildcats established a double-digit lead midway through the first half and while the Owls feigned threatening a few times after the break never got it close again in an 83-67 Villanova victory. The Wildcats are 23-3, while Temple dropped to 16-9.

Temple did get a stellar 21-point performance from freshman Trey Lowe, who for most of the season has played sporadic minutes. Obi Enechionyia scored 15 points, Josh Brown added 13 and Quenton Decosey scored 10 despite some first-half foul trouble.

But senior sparkplug Devin Coleman, so important to recent wins over Tulsa and Connecticut, was held scoreless and Temple couldn't match the onslaught led by Brunson, who scored 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting in just 23 minites.

A 7-0 run pushed the Villanova lead to 12 at 25-13 with 7:05 left in the first half and the lead balooned to as many as 22 after the break. The Owls never trailed by single digits again.

Brown didn't start for academic reasons, but did play 31 minutes. He had four assists to go with his 13 points and didn't turn the ball over.

While the Owls didn't get the statement win they were looking for to cement their status as an NCAA caliber team, they can't dwell on the defeat long. The upcoming two-game road trip to Houston and Tulsa will go a long way towards their at-large chances if they don't win the conference tournament.

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