The men’s basketball team improved its Atlantic Ten Conference record to 4-2 with a 78-60 win against St. Joseph’s University.
Although it’s deemed the Big 5’s greatest rivalry, Temple versus St. Joseph’s University hasn’t been much of a contest recently.
The men’s basketball team defeated the Hawks for the 10th time in a row on Saturday afternoon by a score of 78-60. The Owls have now won three Atlantic Ten Conference games in a row to improve their in-conference record to 4-2.
“I’m very pleased with our performance,” coach Fran Dunphy said. “Because I like St. Joe’s’ team. I like their balance. We’ve got to go there in a couple of weeks and they will be more than ready.”
Temple senior guard Juan Fernandez and redshirt-senior guard Ramone Moore led the Owls, scoring 17 and 21 points, respectively. The two combined for 32 of the team’s 38 first-half points.
“We can’t rely on making shots,” Fernandez said. “There’s going to be games when we’re not going to feel as good and will have to find other ways.”
“The more open you are, the more chances you have to make shots,” Fernandez added. “That’s what we work on, rather than making it, just trying to get good shots. With these kinds of players, [the ball’s] going to go down.”
Graduate center Micheal Eric played 17 minutes for the second consecutive game and scored 11 points. Eric has now played in the Owls’ last three games after missing 13 contests with an injured kneecap.
St. Joe’s’ coach Phil Martelli said the score didn’t accurately depict how outmatched the Hawks were.
“The final score doesn’t indicate how we were dominated,” Martelli said.
The Owls shot a season-best 60 percent from the floor, including a three-point percentage of 53.3 percent. Fernandez and Moore each got off to a hot start, hitting 10 out of their first 12 shots and combining for 24 points.
“Fernandez and Moore knocked it out in the first half, they did a great job,” Dunphy said. “When those guys get in a rhythm and start making shots, it feeds off with everybody else.”
“In the beginning of the game, [Fernandez] came out firing,” Moore added. “Then I caught fire as well.”
Temple took the lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half and never gave it up, extending it to 28 at one point late in the second half. In the Owls’ past four wins, there have been a combined six lead changes.
“Anybody can beat you at any time,” Dunphy said. “If you’re not on your game, in [the A-10] this year, you’re going to have a hell of a time.”
Joey Cranney can be reached at email@example.com.