WASHINGTON D.C – After looking abysmal offensively in the opening 20 minutes, junior forward Lavoy Allen and the men’s basketball team stormed back in the second half of Tuesday’s game with the Georgetown Hoyas, but ultimately lost, 46-45.
The Owls were held to 19.2-percent shooting in the first half, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range. Senior guard Ryan Brooks was especially lackadaisical, failing to make any of his six shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Georgetown wasn’t much better, shooting 30.4 percent from the field, while matching the Owls with a 1-for-10 performance from beyond the arc. Junior guard Chris Wright led the way for the Hoyas with six points on 2-for-3 shooting.
Both teams remembered how to shoot the ball following the break, with Georgetown going on an 8-2 run to start off the game’s second half. The Owls quickly responded with a 19-4 run of their own, fueled primarily by junior forward Lavoy Allen and sophomore guard Ramone Moore. Allen, who finished the game with 12 points and 14 rebounds, scored eight points during Temple’s surge. Moore, who scored eight points off the bench, put up a shot that was goaltended by Georgetown center Henry Sims. That call gave the Owls their first lead of the game at 32-31.
The game went back and forth from that point on, with neither team taking a commanding lead. The Owls led 45-44 with 17.2 seconds left in the game but with the Hoyas controlling the ball. Georgetown sophomore center Greg Monroe, who finished the game with 11 points and nine rebounds, drove to the hoop and hit the layup, putting the Hoyas up 46-45 with 6.5 seconds left on the clock.
After a Temple timeout, senior guard Luis Guzman drove to the hoop before the referees signaled for a jump ball, ending any hope of an Owls victory. Temple coach Fran Dunphy said the plan was for Guzman to draw attention and dish to one of his teammates.
“[Guzman] is our fastest player with the basketball,” Dunphy said. “Hopefully, if [Guzman] drives it in, you draw two defenders and you kick [it out]…What I would have liked to seen him do is drive it in there and maybe even shoot a runner in the lane, but he just took it too deep.”
“[Coach Dunphy] told me to push the ball down low, and if I was open, to score the basket,” Guzman added. “I thought I had a chance to shoot the basket, but the guy was there before I got there.”
Despite Monroe’s game-winning shot, Allen defended the preseason First Team All-Big East selection well, Dunphy said.
“Lavoy did a terrific job on Greg Monroe,” Dunphy said. “[Monroe] is a great player, and he escaped two times late. That’s what great players do. They arrive. Overall, I thought Lavoy was terrific.”
“He’s good,” Monroe agreed. “Coming into the game, coaches were definitely stretching how great of a rebounder he was…Every aspect of the game, he’s pretty good.”
Despite the crushing defeat, Temple can take many positives from this loss, Dunphy said.
“This [was] a fantastic opportunity for us against a very good basketball team and arguably a lottery pick [in Monroe],” Dunphy said. “I thought we defended [Monroe] as well as we could have. It’s a well-coached team. They know what they’re doing, and I think it was a great opportunity for us as a team.”
The Owls look to bounce back from their loss when they play Siena Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Guzman’s 36 minutes played were a career high…Brooks played a full 40 minutes…The game, which was part of ESPN’s “24 Hours of Hoops” marathon, was played at the Verizon Center in front of 8,712 fans. The loss marked the first time that Temple held an opponent to fewer than 50 points and lost since Dec. 30, 1995, when the Owls lost, 49-41, to Oklahoma State.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at email@example.com