Temple falls to top-ranked Duke

By TIMOTHY PARKER
Staff Writer — tparker@highhopesblog.com
________

Temple fell hard to the Duke Blue Devils Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Courtesy AP)

They were just another 1 amongst 86!

That’s pretty much the summation of a Temple Owls’ trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium, which resulted in 78-61 drubbing at the hands of #1 ranked Duke.

Wednesday night’s victory gave the Blue Devils its 86th home straight win against non-conference opponents.

An offensively sloppy first half allowed the 24th ranked Owls to remain close. Temple used sharp cutting and inside moves to get to basket and get points. Though, they didn’t shoot well.

In the second half, it only got worse.

Duke, who held a 7 point lead at the break, opened the second half on a 7-2 run and never looked back. With each wide open three pointer dropped in by Seth Curry, another nail was supplanted in the Owls’ coffin. Juan Fernandez continued his shooting woes. He scored 11, but did it with a 3-11 effort from the field. Ramone Moore wasn’t much better. He dropped in only 8, mostly because he is in foul trouble for most of the game.

With Temple’s top guards virtually providing nothing, the realistic notion of an Owls’ victory was nonexistent. The good news for Temple was that senior Lavoy Allen was his usual consistent self. The Owls’ all-time leader in rebounds posted 14 points, and grabbed 13 boards.

However, the opposing forward was better – much better. Kyle Singler was unstoppable in the second half. He was huge. He scored 28, including a perfect 8-8 performance from the three-point line. Nolan Smith wasn’t dominate but he provided a solid 15 point effort for Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Temple coach Fran Dunphy could at least be impressed with the effort of Rahlir Jefferson for the Cherry and White. He put in 13 points, and will need to be strong down the stretch as the Owls will be without Michael Eric for the rest of the year.

Though, the injury plagued Owls will need to do something to replace sharp-shooting Scootie Randall, because freshman Aaron Brown was not the answer, at least on Wednesday night.

The ending result was expected. After all, Duke is the nation’s top team, but the second half meltdown was the big surprise as the Owls saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end.

In the end, this was probably the best dish served to the Owls, as they now can see the vast need for improvement as they prepare for the A-10 tournament and ultimately the (now expanded) NCAA tournament.

Wednesday night showed a class of basketball that Owls just weren’t ready for. Indeed, the Owls’ were another Cameron Indoor victim –

Just another 1 in 86.

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