10:51… The Worldwide Leader in Sports is here, bagels and orange juice replaced pizza and soda as the spread in the media room, and a number of bleery-eyed college students have descended upon the Palestra for this morning’s Big Five and Atlantic 10 tilt between the Temple Owls (14-5, 4-2 A-10) and the Saint Joseph’s Hawks (5-15, 0-6 A-10).
Today’s match-up features two teams headed in opposite directions. Temple is enjoying its usual success in the Atlantic 10. The Owls always seem to find themselves in the thick of the Atlantic 10 race, usually either winning the regular season or tournament championship over the past few years. Meanwhile, the Hawks, losers of seven straight, keep finding new ways to lose as the Phil Martelli remains stuck on 294 wins.
The storyline for the Hawks remains the same as it has all year: the need to find a No. 2 scoring option to aid Carl Jones and the need for consistent play out of their freshmen. Jones, the team leader with 17.9 ppg, has led the Hawks in scoring in 13 of the team’s 20 games. Langston Galloway, the only other Hawk averaging double figures (11.3 ppg), has seemed to hit the vaunted freshman wall, struggling as the competition has gotten tougher and the season has gotten longer. Freshman big man CJ Aiken will also have to step up. Aiken, the A-10’s leader in block shots, scored 11 points and rejected nine shots in the Hawks’ most recent defeat, 76-72, against La Salle on Wednesday.
The Owls are paced by Ramone Moore. Moore’s 15 ppg leads one of four Owls in double figures. Juan Fernandez (10.4 ppg), Lavoy Allen (10.3 ppg), and Scootie Randall (10.1 ppg) are the other three. Khalif Wyatt adds 8.8 ppg off the bench.
We’re almost set to get under way here at the Palestra. Keep refreshing this page for live updates throughout the entire game.
11:06… The Hawks start with their usual lineup of Langston Galloway, Carl Jones, Idris Hilliard, Daryus Quarles, and CJ Aiken. The Owls counter with a Juan Fernandez-less lineup. The guard has been slowed by a knee injury of late, although has played through it. The Owls start Micheal Eric, Lavoy Allen, Ramone Moore, Khaliff Wyatt, and Scootie Randall.
A couple fashion items that need mentioning. Coaches on both sidelines are sporting sneakers along with the traditonal suit. No, the look is not a tribute to Jerry Seinfeld, but rather as a gesture to raise cancer awareness for Coaches vs. Cancer weekend.
Another fashion note: Todd O’Brien is sporting a beard. It needs to go.
7-2 Owls three minutes into the game.
11:11… The Owls hold a 9-6 lead at the first media timeout. Lavoy Allen leads the Owls with four quick points off the tip. Scootie Randall buried a three and Micheal Eric also added a layup. The Hawks have gotten four points from Idris Hilliard as well as a two from Langston Galloway. The Galloway shot is what brought us to our break as the officials went to the replay monitor after initially calling it a three.
The Hawks trail with 15 to play as they have simply gotten unlucky on the offensive end with multiple shots just rimming out.
11:17… Consecutive shot clock violations for each team bring us to the second media timeout with 11:59 to go with the Owls leading 11-8. Since our last update, only CJ Aiken and Micheal Eric have scored baskets. The Hawks are not being outplayed to this point, they just simply have been unlucky with their shots.
11:22… Ronald Roberts entered the game with a thunderous dunk, but the Owls responded with a 7-point spurt. Five of those points were scored by Ramone Moore. The rally was capped by Lavoy Allen abusing the Hawks’ interior defense for two points. Martelli burned his first timeout at 18-10 with 9:15 to play.
Something of note: Temple’s run was made against a Hawk line-up that featured four freshmen and a sophomore.
11:26… The buckets continue to fall for the Owls. In the last two minutes of play, Scootie Randall buried two more threes to give him nine points and Rahlir Jefferson connected on a long two. Randall’s threes sandwiched a Carl Jones three, but the Hawks have seen their deficit increase in a hurry.
The Owls lead 26-13 with 7:18 to play in the first half.
11:35… The owls now hold a 31-18 advantage with 2:51 to play in the half. The main story is the Owls’ abuse of the Hawks in the paint. The Owls are simply tearing the ball away from the Hawks. What do the Hawks have to show for themselves? Only one foul in 18 minutes. It would be nice if they mixed it up a little in the paint instead of just getting pushed around.
11:43… The half ends with Temple holding a 32-22 lead over the Hawks.
11:58… Halftime stats:
SJU: Jones with 8, Roberts with 6, Hilliard with 4, and Aiken and Galloway with 2 apiece. Temple: Randall with 9, Eric with 7, Allen with 6, Moore with 5, Wyatt with 3, and Jefferson with 2. Juan Fernanadez is out today and has not played at all for the Owls.
Temple is also 5-10 from three.
12:13… It hasn’t been pretty early for the Hawks in this half. St. Joe’s trails 47-33 six minutes into the half at the first media timeout.
The Owls jumped out to a 9-0 run fueled by a three-point play by Scootie Randall. The Hawks responded with a Hilliard three-pointer and an acrobatic three-point play by Roberts, but it’s been all Owls since. Missed box outs by the Hawks have resulted in multiple easy baskets for the Owls. A couple turnovers have led to Temple run-outs as well.
The only good thing for the Hawks has been the play of Ron Roberts. He has nine points in this one, including the three-point play immediately after coming in off the bench. Ever since he got the start against Penn a week ago, his production and confidence have both been on the rise.
Two free-throws by Ramone Moore and a three by TJ DiLeo have stretched the Owl lead to 52-33 with 13 to play.
12:18… Two minutes later, not much more to report. Carl Jones scored on a three-point play, but the Hawks still trail 55-38 with 11:17 to play.
12:30… Ron Roberts has thrown down another dunk and hit on an acrobatic layup to keep the Hawks within striking distance at 59-46. Roberts has scored seven second-half points and has 13 for the game. Carl Jones has also dropped 17 for the Hawks.
If St. Joe’s is to make a run at this one, it has to be now. The Hawks are down 13 with 7:53 to play.
12:41… And it’s safe to say this one is in the books. Instead of making that run the Hawks needed, the Owls put the game away. With 3:10 remaining, the Owls have the ball and a 20-point lead when we come out of this final media timeout.
The Hawks were simply outclassed in this one.
12:52… And that’s all she wrote today from the Palestra. Temple wins 72-54.
The Hawks were paced by Carl Jones with 19 points and Ron Roberts with 17 (unofficially).