WASHINGTON—The men’s basketball team ended its regular season on a high note.
Behind a balanced team effort and numerous second-chance points, Temple defeated George Washington, 63-53, Saturday night at the Smith Center.
Sophomore forward Lavoy Allen led the way with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard Dionte Christmas and sophomore forward Craig Williams each chipped in with nine, and junior guard Ryan Brooks added eight.
Despite the seemingly easy victory which sent Temple to 19-11 overall and 11-5 in the Atlantic Ten Conference, coach Fran Dunphy wasn’t particularly impressed.
“I didn’t think we played great,” he said. “But we were good enough to get a win on the road, and we’ll take it.”
Part of that might have been the play of Christmas, who shot 3-11 from beyond the 3-point line and 3-15 from the field.
“We need Dionte to shoot it and do well,” Dunphy said. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to go on Thursday.”
Christmas wasn’t alone, though. Senior guard Semaj Inge shot 3-11 from the field, Brooks shot 1-6 from 3-point land and sophomore forward Craig Williams shot 3-9 from downtown.
In all, the Owls shot 9-32 from 3-point territory, good for 28.1 percent. And despite that number being unusually high, even for a team like Temple, Dunphy said it was all part of the game plan.
“Sometimes the defense tells you what you’re going to shoot,” Dunphy said. “I didn’t think very many of them were forced. We’d certainly like to be inside out…[but] sometimes the game just dictates what you do.”
“[It’s] one of those things,” Christmas added. “Pretty much everybody was off today.”
With the way Saturday’s action shook out, the Owls will meet the winner of No. 5 Saint Joseph’s/No. 12 Charlotte Thursday afternoon in Atlantic City, N.J. in the A-10 Tournament. The Owls, seeded fourth, will tip-off at approximately 2:30 p.m.
With the prospects of playing the Hawks for the third time this season, something that’s happened each of the past four seasons, Christmas and Allen said they were looking forward to it.
“We just can’t get away from them,” Christmas said with a smile.
“It’s always a great game between us two,” Allen said. “If we’re playing them again, expect a great game.”
But as for the great part of this game, the Owls need look no further than the offensive glass.
Temple lit up G.W. for 25 offensive rebounds in the contest, including 11 individually by Allen. In fact, they had as many offensive rebounds as G.W. had defensive rebounds.
“Sometimes it was just tipped me way,” Allen said. “Sometimes the guards would penetrate the lane and my guy would go help, so the rebound was wide open.”
After a back-and-forth first 10 minutes, Temple went on a quick 6-0 spurt to double a six point lead to 12. The lead was later extended out to 18 when the Owls went on an 8-0 run midway through the second half.
Their largest lead was 19, which came at the 5:48 mark of the second half on a jumper by senior guard Semaj Inge.
The Owls used a balanced scoring attack in the first half, as three players notched six points, two hit for four and two others for three to total the 32 points.
Christmas’ nine points put him into a tie with St. Joe’s senior forward Ahmad Nivens for the A-10’s scoring title.
Game Notes: The loss eliminated G.W. (10-18, 4-12) from A-10 Tournament action, as their season is officially over…Junior guard Luis Guzman and freshman forward Micheal Eric both received short first half runs…The women’s basketball team defeated St. Bonaventure 67-63 in the second round of the A-10 Tournament in Charlotte, N.C., They lost to Charlotte Sunday afternoon, 73-50, but are expected to make the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid.