The Owls defeated Xavier 85-72 on Saturday night.
Led by senior Ramone Moore the Temple Owls defeated the Xavier Musketeers 85-72 Saturday night at the Liacouras Center.
Accompanying Moore’s game high 30 points, graduate center Micheal Eric dominated in the paint with a season-high 16 rebounds and 11 points – his first double-double since returning from his injury.
“It’s great having [Eric] back, he has a great presence down there. Since he’s got back we’ve been on a winning streak that shows how valuable he is to our team,” Moore said.
“I feel great, I’m getting better as the weeks go by and I’m happy to be in the situation like this and have the chance to play basketball again, feels good,” Eric said.
With six remaining games left the Owls, (19-5, 8-2 A-10), are focusing on securing the top spot to compete for another title.
“I think this puts us in a great position. We got to maintain now, we got six games left and we just want to go out there and take it one game at a time,” Moore said. “We just want to play our best basketball and I think we did that tonight. We want to hold our own, finish out these last 6 games and hopefully we finish wit the top spot.”
Last year, this match up ended in an Xavier win, 88-72, placing pressure on the Owls to come out this year and perform.
Early into the game, the tone was set as the Owls shot 61.3 percent from the field and locked up Xavier’s key players, guards senior Tu Holloway and junior Mark Lyons.
“That was our main focus trying to stop Holloway and Lyons. Those two guys are guys that make that team go. We got to try and maintain guys like Holloway you cant really stop him so I think we did a good job of not letting him score and dish the ball as well,” Moore said.
Although the lead never shifted out of Owl territory, the second half did not carry the momentum of the first as shooting catapulted to a low 33.3 percent from the field.
“I think those guys made some adjustments in the second half, they were playing pretty tough defense. We didn’t shoot too well in the second half and we’re just happy to come away wit the win,” Moore said.
Alexandra Oliver can be reached at email@example.com.