Box Score Dunphy Media Conference
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Needing 13 points to become Temple's 49th player to reach 1,000 points in a career, senior Khalif Wyatt
dropped a game-high 20 points Monday night to surpass the milestone, as he helped the Owls defeat Alcorn State, 63-46 in their opening game of the Chevrolet Gotham Classic. Senior swingman Scootie Randall
helped Temple improve to 8-1 on the year by scoring 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson added 11 points while graduate forward Jake O'Brien, making his first start as an Owl in place of Anthony Lee (illness), added 10 points, three blocks and three steals.
Anthony Nieves led three double figure scorers for the Braves (2-8) with 16 points.
The game was far from pretty as Temple struggled to gain separation from the Mississippi-bases school, shooting 34.6 percent from the field and committing nine turnovers in the first half to take a meager 28-26 lead at intermission.
The Owls used a 14-2 run over an eight-minute stretch early in the second stanza to break the game open, 50-35, with 8:08 remaining. Wyatt, who was fouled on a three-pointer, made all three of his free throws – the first of which put him in the 1000-point club – to cap the run.
Nieves ran off seven straight points to bring Alcorn back to single digits (50-42), but Wyatt answered with five points in a 7-0 Temple run to ice the contest.
Temple only committed six miscues in the second half and made eight of its 12 steals after the break. Besides O'Brien, Will Cummings added three steals with Wyatt and T.J. DiLeo making two each.
Freshman Devontae Watson played a season-high six minutes, four coming in the first half. The rookie forward scored four points, grabbed four rebounds and made three blocks.
Temple will get right back to work as it continues play in the Chevrolet Gotham Classic Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. when it faces Canisius at the Liacouras Center (OwlAccess/1210 WPHT AM).