The last time out against Saint Joseph’s, Temple dominated inside with 33 combined points from junior forward Lavoy Allen and sophomore forward/center Micheal Eric.
The Owls’ inside presence outscored St. Joe’s 42-18 in the paint Saturday at the Palestra and connected on 13 second-chance points compared to the Hawks’ zero, but the No. 21-ranked men’s basketball team looked to someone else for its seventh straight win against St. Joe’s.
Sophomore guard Ramone Moore scored 13 points in the first half, which led both squads, and finished with a career-high 24 points and a season-high nine rebounds in the 75-67 overtime win, which counted in the Big 5 standings. Moore broke his previous career-high of 18 points, which he set in Temple’s win at St. Bonaventure last Wednesday, on the bucket that sent the game into overtime.
With 5 seconds remaining in the game, St. Joe’s senior guard Garrett Williamson converted a layup to give the Hawks a 59-57 lead.
But then Moore caught the inbounds pass from Allen and sped up the floor. He made his own layup with 1.5 seconds left to tie it.
“I thought that when Lavoy took the ball out that Juan [Fernandez] was overplayed, so I tried to get open so he could get me the ball,” Moore said. “I thought I had enough time to go the length of the court, and it was a great play. I was just thinking I was going to go straight to the rim and tie the game.”
“My first initial look was Juan,” Allen said, “but he was being covered. I saw ‘Mone standing at halfcourt, so I just threw him the ball. It was a great inbounds pass, by the way.”
Coach Fran Dunphy admitted that prior to the play he considered calling a timeout.
“I choked it back a couple of times,” Dunphy said. “It was a great individual effort [by Moore]. Lavoy saw Ramone, and Ramone had enough presence of mind to take it to the rim.”
“I don’t mean this disrespectfully, but he wasn’t in the scouting report the first time,” St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli said. “He just wasn’t in there. Now, Moore has a scorer’s mentality.”
Temple improves to 22-5 overall and 10-2 in the Atlantic Ten Conference, while St. Joe’s drops to 9-18 overall and 3-10 in the conference. The Hawks have now lost four games in a row and seven of their last eight. Temple needs one more win in the Big 5 to claim the city series title. The Owls face La Salle next Sunday at Tom Gola Arena.
Temple’s inside duo started the game off strong. Eric blocked St. Joe’s first attempted shot, and he and Allen scored six of the team’s first 12 points. Allen finished with his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but he did not pick up his scoring until the second half and overtime, when he scored 10 of them. His dunk and free throw in overtime gave the Owls a five-point cushion at 69-64.
Senior guard Ryan Brooks had two points at halftime, when the Owls led, 29-23. He finished with 12. With the Owls trailing by two points, 52-50, and 1:52 left in regulation, Brooks hit a 3-pointer for his first points of the second half and Temple’s first 3 of the game. About a minute and a half later, Brooks went in for a layup that tied the game at 57-57 before Williamson and Moore traded buckets to send the game into overtime.
Game Notes: This was the 150th career meeting between the two universities and the first overtime meeting since March 5, 2002. With Saturday’s win, Temple improves to 5-4 in overtime games against the Hawks…Temple’s longest winning streak in the series is 10 games, from 1996 through 2000…Moore started again for sophomore guard Juan Fernandez, who finished with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field in 33 minutes of action. Fernandez started the scoring in overtime with a 3-pointer…“Whatever coach Dunphy decides to do [about who is starting], I’m happy with that,” Moore said. “To me, it doesn’t matter who starts,” Dunphy said. “It matters who’s in there at crunch time, and we went with four guards down the stretch.”…The Hawks finished the season 1-2 at the Palestra. The Owls were 3-1 there this season…Williamson and senior guard Darrin Govens paced the Hawks’ scoring with 21 points and 20 points, respectively.
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at email@example.com.