Jan. 6, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Lavoy Allen had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead #21 Temple (12-3; 1-0) to a 73-46 win over Saint Joseph's (4-9; 0-1) in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams at the Liacouras Center. It marked Temple's sixth consecutive win over the Hawks.
Saint Joseph's, which scored a season-low 22 points in the second half, did not have any players reach double figures. Chris Prescott had a team-high eight points. Justin Crosgile, who made the first start of his career, had seven points as did Garrett Williamson.
The Hawks spotted the Owls a 7-0 lead but fought back to tie it, 11-11, at the 14-minute mark. Then Temple went on a 9-0 run to take a 20-11 lead and eventually take a 34-24 edge at halftime.
Temple earned its double-digit lead early in the second half, running off six straight points to go up 40-27 in the first three minutes. SJU could get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way, while the Owls' final margin was the largest lead of the game.
"The game is in the numbers. We had no double-figure scorers, were outrebounded two to one and gave up 46 points in the lane," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "We didn't expect Michael Eric to start the game in such an aggressive fashion (six points in first three minutes). All the credit goes to their players for buying into the defensive system."
The Hawks were coming off a loss to Princeton on Saturday, but Martelli said tonight's effort was better. "I was happy with what I saw in their eyes tonight. Before the Princeton game, I saw 14 sets of dead eyes. Tonight was not due to that lifelessness from Saturday - we just weren't good enough."
For Temple, Allen came off the bench as Craig Williams started in his place.
The Hawks' Williamson limited Temple's second leading scorer Juan Fernandez to an 0-for-10 shooting night and a scoreless effort.
SJU, which has struggled all season on the boards, was outrebounded by its biggest margin of the year, 49-25. The Hawks shot just 28 percent in the second half, while Temple converted close to 44 percent.
The loss ends a three-game winning streak for Saint Joseph's in conference openers. Tonight's game did not count in the Big 5 standings, but SJU's home game at The Palestra on February 20 will be the City Series contest.
Saint Joseph's will look to get back on the winning track when it hosts Fordham in the conference home opener on Saturday at Hagan Arena.