Wyatt, rejuvenated Allen lead Owls over Charlotte

Four members of the men’s basketball team scored in double figures as the Owls defeated Charlotte, 76-67, on Wednesday.

Senior forward Lavoy Allen, who was held scoreless in Temple’s loss to Xavier, scored 15 while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds in the victory. Allen also blocked three shots in the game. The totals gave Allen his first double-double since Dec. 5 against Maryland. Getting back on track after stumbling against Xavier was something Allen needed, he said.

“It was very important,” Allen said. “I hadn’t been rebounding the ball well all season. Today, I had some offensive rebounds and put backs. I helped my team further the lead.”

“I thought he made a concerted effort to rebound the wall, in particular at the offensive end,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. That’s something we need if we’re going to carry forward and be as good of a team as we can be.

Junior guard Juan Fernandez did not play in the game. Fernandez, who Temple coach Fran Dunphy listed as day-to-day with a knee injury, was replaced by sophomore guard Khalif Wyatt. Wyatt scored a team-high 17 points in place of the Argentine and also dished six assists while only turning the ball over twice.

“Obviously, we play a little different without Juan,” Dunphy said. “I thought Khalif had a pretty good game. He had a couple of shots go in and out, otherwise he might have scored some more. He handled the ball a lot and had two turnovers.”

“I prepare for every game the same, regardless of if I’m starting or coming off the bench,” Wyatt added. “Starting as the point guard, though, I knew it would be a different role. I had to get my teammates involved in the game.”

Junior forward Scootie Randall and junior guard Ramone Moore scored 14 and 16 points, respectively.

Temple shot fifty percent from the floor, but only 56 percent from the free-throw line. The Owls have struggled from the line all year and the coaching staff is still working on fixing the team’s charity-stripe woes, Dunphy said.

“We try every little thing,” Dunphy said. “We talk about it, we don’t talk about it. We practice it, we leave it alone. It’s a lot of different things. Really, what it is, is a lot of guys coming into the gym on their own. Stepping up and putting pressure on themselves.”

Charlotte would go on an 18-11 run late in the second half to bring the its team within seven points with one minute, 31 seconds remaining. Wyatt would hit eight free-throws in the remaining seconds to ice the win for the Owls.

Four Charlotte players also scored in double digits, led by the 15 points put up by both sophomore forward Chris Braswell and junior guard Derrio Green. The 49ers shot just 17.6 percent from three-point land, including just 1-of-11 in the second half.

Miserable weather conditions prevent most fans from attending the game, as the Liacours Center was filled with just 2,679 fans.

Kyle Gauss can be reached at kyle.gauss@temple.edu

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