<font face=”verdana, arial, helvetica” size=”2″ color=”#ffffff”Temple (14-13, 11-4) vs. Saint Joseph’s (17-9, 11-3)
If you go…
• When: 1 p.m.
• Where: The Palestra
• Tickets: Sold Out
• TV: ABC
• Coaches: TU: John Chaney (670-251); SJU: Phil Martelli (124-87)
• Key Players:
TU: Lynn Greer (Sr., G 21.8 ppg, 114 ass.), David Hawkins (So., G 15.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Alex Wesby (Sr., G 11.1 ppg, 42 stl), Brian Polk (So., G 8.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Kevin Lyde (Sr., C 8.0 rpg, 7.9 ppg)
SJU: Marvin O’Connor (Sr., G 18.4 ppg), Na’im Crenshaw (Sr., G 14.1 ppg), Jameer Nelson (So., G 13.6 ppg, 159 ass.), Bill Phillips (Sr., F 11.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg).
• Outlook: Remember the last time these two teams met at the Palestra? Feb. 29, 2000, St. Joe’s 62 – Temple 59, any dreams of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament down the drain for the Owls. Mark Karcher’s potential game-tying 3-pointer hitting the rim as time expired. This time there’s no No. 1 seed on the line, but the top spot in the Atlantic 10 East will be. Temple beat St. Joe’s 82-72 on Feb. 2. But this game is at the fabled Palestra, where anything can happen.
Temple senior guard Lynn Greer scored a game high 31 points, including four free-throws in the last 28 seconds of overtime, in Temple’s 75-70 win over Dayton Wednesday at a nearly sold out UD Arena.
Temple (14-13, 11-4 Atlantic 10) will face Saint Joseph’s, at the Palestra Sunday, in the A-10 regular season finale with the top seed in the Eastern Division for next week’s A-10 Tournament on the line.
Sophomore guard David Hawkins saved the game in overtime by diving on a loose ball after a missed free throw attempt by Kevin Lyde with 28 seconds left. Hawkins collided with two Dayton players and held a hand on the ball to force a jump ball.
The possession arrow favored the Owls and Greer was quickly fouled. He made both ends of a one-and-one and pushed the Temple lead to 73-70. Greer added two more free throws.
Greer was perfect from the foul line, connecting on all nine of his attempts. He also made 4-of-7 3-point attempts and shot 50 percent from the field.
Senior forward Alex Wesby added 12 points and five rebounds. He started the overtime with a dunk and added a layup from the left hand side to put the Owls ahead for good 67-66 with 2:38 left in overtime.
Senior forward Kevin Lyde handed in a monstrous defensive performance with 11 rebounds and one blocked shot to go along with 18 points. Lyde owned the offensive glass and came up with two key rebounds in overtime.
Dayton used four different defenders to try and stop Greer — it didn’t work.
Temple was down early and its ball zone didn’t seem to work in the teams’ favor. The Owls trailed 43-41 at the half, but started the second half on an 11-6 run capped off by a long range 3-pointer by sophomore guard Brian Polk to put the Owls up 54-47.
After that, the engine in the Temple defense was at full gear and the 1-3-1 zone worked like a force field. The Owl defense held two of Dayton’s leading scorers, Brooks Hall and Keith Waleskowski, below their season averages of 13.3 ppg and 10.2 ppg, respectively.
Hall had eight points and Waleskowski had four points, all from the foul line.
Temple switched to a straight-up man-to-man defense with four minutes remaining in overtime and only allowed four points during the remainder of the game.
Temple has won eight of its last nine games.