#24/25 Temple Falls to Richmond, 58-54, in A-10 Semifinals

#24/25 Temple Falls to Richmond, 58-54, in A-10 Semifinals

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -  #24/25 Temple's bid for a fourth straight Atlantic 10 title came to a halt Saturday afternoon as #3-seed Richmond scored five unanswered points over the final five minutes to post a 58-54 win in the semifinals at Boardwalk Hall. First team all-league players, Kevin Anderson (22) and Justin Harper (18), combined for 40 points to lead the Spiders (26-7) while A-10 Sixth Man of the Year Khalif Wyatt topped the Owls (25-7) with 15 points.

#24/25 Temple's bid for a fourth straight Atlantic 10 title came to a halt Saturday afternoon as #3-seed Richmond scored five unanswered points over the final five minutes to post a 58-54 win in the semifinals at Boardwalk Hall.  First team all-league players, Kevin Anderson (22) and Justin Harper (18), combined for 40 points to lead the Spiders (26-7) while A-10 Sixth Man of the Year Khalif Wyatt topped the Owls (25-7) with 15 points. 

The Owls, who had a string of 10 straight A-10 Tournament wins snapped, stormed back from its largest deficit, 53-47, with seven straight points, the last on a Ramone Moore (11 points) lay-up off a dish from Juan Fernandez to make it 54-53 with 5:02 remaining.  That, however, would be the final points for the three-time defending champions.

After a couple of empty possession by both teams, Harper drove the lane and tipped in his own missed shot to put the Spiders ahead 55-54 with 3:48 to play.

The next 3 minutes were all defense, with neither team scoring another point until Anderson hit both ends of a one-and-one chance with 28.5 seconds to play.

The free throws came after some controversy.

Wyatt got Harper off his feet on a three-point attempt with 31 second on the clock. He leaned forward as he went up for his attempt and Harper came crashing down on top of him.

Instead of three shots, there was no whistle. Wyatt then fouled Anderson, who promptly extended the lead to three points.

Fernandez, who struggled from the field (3-for-17), missed a one-and-one with 17 seconds left. 

Cedrick Lindsay, who came off the bench for nine points, then hit one of two free throws to ice the game.

Temple led 31-30 despite playing major minutes without Allen, who picked up two fouls in the opening 4:49.

The game was tied at 6 when Allen went to the bench and the Owls remarkably picked things up, hitting four 3-pointers in a 12-3 spurt that Wyatt capped with his second trey of the run.

Allen's absence wasn't all good. Without him in the middle Harper was free to operate in the low post and Anderson had no one to offer resistance when he drove the lane.

The two combined for 23 of the Spiders' 30 first-half points, with Harper getting 12 and Anderson 11. 

The Owls shot a mere nine-of-29 after intermission (31%) and 35.1 percent (20-57) for the game.

Allen posted his sixth straight double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds) and extended his A-10 Championship double-figure rebound record to eight games. 

Aaron Brown had another solid outing, scoring nine points over a career-high 27 minutes.

Temple must now wait until Sunday's NCAA Selection Show (6:00 p.m. on CBS) to find out who and where it will next play.  The owls are virtually assured a NCAA berth and are projected as high as a seventh-seed in the 68-team field.

Richmond will face #9-seed Dayton on Sunday (1:00 p.m./CBS) for the A-10 Championship.

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