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- A career game from junior guard Ramone Moore
capped off a historic Thursday night at the Liacouras Center, as the Temple men's basketball team knocked off #9/10 Georgetown, 68-65, to secure head coach Fran Dunphy
's 400th career win. The Owls never trailed in the nationally-televised contest and were led by a game-high 30 points from Moore.
Moore was the answer for the Owls all night, as he went 12-18 from the floor including two-for-two from three. The Philadelphia native guided Temple, now 6-2, to their 11th-straight home win and handed the previously-unbeaten Hoyas (8-1) their first loss.
The Temple defense was relentless all evening, constantly pressuring the Hoyas and forcing 17 turnovers. The Owls held Georgetown's top scorer senior guard Austin Freeman, who averaged 20.1 points per game, to just 14 points. Junior guard Jason Clark led the visitors with 15 points.
It was a total team effort on the boards for the Owls, led by six from senior forward Lavoy Allen
(6 pts, 6 reb). Allen and fellow big-man junior center Micheal Eric
asserted their dominance in the paint, and combined for six blocks.
Temple came out fired up in the first, with the defense continuing to be problematic for the visitors and several clutch shots electrifying the crowd. Although the Hoyas kept the numbers fairly even on the boards, turnovers proved costly as the Owls forced nine.
After winning the tip, junior guard Juan Fernandez
drove from the top of the key for a contested layup to open the scoring. An Eric block sprung Moore for a coast-to-coast fast break, with Moore again netting on a goaltending call at 18:15. The 6-0 run set the tone for the game and gave the Owls a lead they would never relinquish.
Georgetown got on the board on a pair of free throws from senior foward Julian Vaughn, and an old-fashioned three-point play at 17:25 by Clark brought the Hoyas to within one at 6-5.
The Owls pulled away again on three from junior forward Scootie Randall
(10 pts, 2-3 3-ptr) at 17:02, and an Eric two gave TU an 11-5 lead until Freeman answered with a trey at 16:15. Another bucket from Freeman cut the Temple lead to one again at 11-10, but five straight points from Fernandez and a lay up from Moore gave the Owls an 18-10 with 13:46 on the clock.
Even with Fernandez sitting with two fouls, Temple continued to come up with key baskets to thwart a possible Georgetown comeback. Only up a pair at 11:52, Moore drove for a bucket and answered a two from GU's Sims with a deep three in front of the visitor's bench. A nice pull-up jumper by Randall at 9:39 bumped the margin back up to 25-18.
Randall again tallied with a pull-up trey at 3:52, followed by a three-point play from sophomore forward Rahlir Jefferson (10 pts, 2 reb) that gave Temple its largest lead of the half at 35-24 with 2:57 to go. The Owls would storm into the locker room with a 39-32 lead on a last-second tip-in by Moore, who bested his season-high in the first half alone with 17 points.
Energized out of the break, the Hoyas went on a 5-0 run to bring the score to one basket, but a three-point play from Eric and a pair of free throws from Moore sandwiched a dunk from Vaughn to qwell the momentum. The two teams would trade baskets again, with the score holding at 46-41 at the first media time out of the second.
The Owls continued to respond when they needed to, as Moore dazzled with a sharp crossover and a fastbreak reverse-layup to give Temple a six-point cushion (50-44) with 12:24 to play. A jumper from Freeman and another from sophomore Vee Sanford were answered by two free-throws from Moore, helping him eclipse his career-mark and move the Temple lead to 52-48 at 9:23.
Georgetown battled for the first tie of the night since the opening tip, capitalizing on a Temple turnover and miss to knot the game at 56-56. Senior guard Chris Wright sunk a jumper and a pair of free throws for a short-lived 4-0 run.
Possibly Moore's biggest shot of the night came on the next Temple possession, as he drained a three to start a 5-0 run to give Temple the lead at 61-56 with 4:15 to play.
Just under one-minute remaining, the Hoyas' Vaughn made a tough interior shot to bring the game within one point. The Owls took a timeout and wasted most of the shot clock, ending on a missed heave from three-point land by Fernandez. An empty possession on the other end led to Jefferson draining two clutch free throws with three-seconds left to ice the game at 68-65.
Temple continues its three-game homestand hosting Akron at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 12. The game will be streamed live over the internet on www.owlsports.com.