Despite playing without its starting point guard for the second straight game, junior guard Ramone Moore and the men’s basketball team cruised to an easy win on Wednesday as the Owls defeated St. Bonaventure, 83-55.
Moore scored a game-high 19 points for Temple, which had all five of its starters register double-digit point totals. Moore has now scored at least 15 points in six straight contests while also scoring at least 10 points in his 10th straight game.
Sophomore guard Khalif Wyatt, starting in place of junior guard Juan Fernandez, scored a career-high 15 points on six of nine shooting, including three of five from beyond the arc. In Wyatt’s first start last Sunday, the 6-foot-4 guard scored just seven points on 25-percent shooting. Wyatt was more comfortable in Wednesday’s game, he said.
“I felt a lot more comfortable today than I did Sunday,” Wyatt said. “I had a lot of nerves last game making my first start. My teammates encouraged me to be prepared and I just came out more comfortable today and helped my team win.”
Beyond a comfort level, the difference in the two ways the opponents guarded Wyatt might have been a factor in his production, Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
“He was guarded differently tonight than he was on Sunday,” Dunphy said. “He’s a skilled offensive player. He’s very talented that way. One of the first plays he made on the defensive end was a deflection and a steal. That’s exactly what we need him to do….he has a great knowledge of the game.”
The Owls scored a season-high 83 points in the contest to improve to 12-3 and 3-0 in the Atlantic Ten Conference. The offensive outburst was surprising as the Owls managed just 57 points their last time out.
Fernandez, who suffered a hyper-extended knee in last Friday’s practice, dressed for the contest and even warmed up, but never played in the game.
“I think [playing Fernandez] would have been pushing the issue as far as the doctor and trainer were concerned,” Dunphy said. “It was just not a wise move. We’ll see how he is for Saturday. We could use him. He’s a really good basketball player.”
“He’s recovering from the injury. He needs to rest,” Dunphy added.
Temple’s size advantage was apparent as the Owls scored 32 points in the paint, compared to St. Bonaventure’s 18. The Bonnies never led in the contest and trailed by as many as 31 points. St. Bonaventure has never won on the road against the Owls and are now 0-31 in such contests.
The Owls will travel to Duquesne for their next game. The Dukes are 10-5 and 2-0 in the A-10.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at email@example.com
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