Junior forward Scootie Randall played 39 minutes of near-perfect basketball while leading the men’s basketball team to a 80-67 victory over Rhode Island.
Randall, who finished the game with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting, hit his first eight shots from the field before missing his first shot of the game with 15 minutes and 22 seconds remaining in the second half. Randall had 19 points in the opening period without recording a turnover.
“His first half performance was probably the sole reason we had some space between us and them,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. “He was just terrific. Obviously, shooting 7-for-7 in the first half was terrific. It was kind of Scoot’s day.”
“We had to be back at 12:30 and some guys left and went back and took a nap.” Randall added. “I stayed back and thought about the game and the task at hand. I think I was prepared.”
Randall and sophomore guard Khalif Wyatt, who finished the game with 14 points off the bench, have now alternated being the team’s leading scorer over the past six games. The team’s depth, along with the unselfish mentality that has been engrained into them, has been helpful, Randall said.
“We have a lot of good players and anybody can step up at any time,” Randall said. “He always says to let the game come to you and play together as a team.”
Senior forward Lavoy Allen recorded his third double-double in his last four contests by scoring 13 points while also grabbing 10 rebounds. Allen now needs just 31 rebounds to surpass John Baum as the program’s all-time leader.
Rhode Island senior forward Delroy James scored 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting while also collecting six rebounds. James versatility makes him one of the tougher match-ups in the Atlantic Ten Conference, Allen said.
“Delroy James is a really tough matchup for anyone,” Allen said. “When he has a bigger guy on him, he can put the ball on the floor. When he has a smaller guy, he can post up. He can do a lot of things offensively. He’s a tough matchup. He’s one of the best players in our league.”
Junior guard Juan Fernandez was held scoreless for the first time since Jan. 6, 2010. The 6-foot-4-inch guard missed all six of his shots, including three from beyond the arc. The Argentine did manage to dish six assists, but that isn’t enough, Dunphy said.
“He mentioned something today, after missing his first couple of jumpers, he said he was a little reluctant,” Dunphy said. “We can’t be having that. If you’re open, you’re a shooter, you’re a scorer, you have to play a full game here. Sure, I want him to have six assists, that’s great. But, he has to help us more than he has been.”
“He knows exactly what his role is and he has to perform it better than he is right now,” Dunphy added.
The win improved Temple to 17-5 and 7-2 in the A-10 while Rhode Island fell to 14-9 and 5-4 in the conference. The Owls will remain at the Liacouras Center for their game against Fordham on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Game notes: Temple shot 53.2 percent from the field, including 52.6 percent from three-point land… 8,679 fans attended the game, which was advertised as Hooter’s birthday… All 14 of Wyatt’s points came in the second half… Allen fouled out for the first time since the Dec. 5 game against Maryland.
Kyle Gauss can be reached at email@example.com