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News
Temple Tops Wagner, 70-62
12/2/2012
Box Score / Box Score (PDF)

Philadelphia, PA -
Khalif Wyatt scored a game-high 26 points in leading Temple to a 70-62 victory over Wagner in non-conference action at the Liacouras Center. With the win, the Owls improve to 5-0 for the first time since the 1987-1988 season while the Seahawks fall to 2-4.

In defeat, sophomore Mario Moody (East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with nine points and three blocks over just 22 minutes off the bench. The 14 caroms were the most by a Wagner player since Michael Orock snared 14 at NJIT on November 24, 2009.

Senior Jonathon Williams (Richmond, CA / Kennedy / City College of San Francisco) scored a team-best 15 points in leading the Seahawks in scoring for the sixth-straight game. Junior Kenneth Ortiz (Newark, NJ / Science Park / Southern Mississippi) matched Williams with 15 points, while also recording seven rebounds and five assists over a game-high 32 minutes of action. Rounding out the double-figure scorers was freshman Eric Fanning (Trenton, NJ / Perkiomen (PA)), who had 12 points while not missing a shot (4-for-4 FG / 3-for-3 FT) in just 13 minutes of action.

Williams opened the scoring with a pair from the line, before Wyatt answered on the other end with a jumper. The Seahawks then ripped off eight-straight points in opening their largest lead of the game. Williams got things started with a layup, before Ortiz followed with a pair from the line and freshman Dwaun Anderson (Suttons Bay, MI / Suttons Bay / Michigan State) converted a layup. Williams capped the run with a long jumper, extending the lead to 10-2 while forcing a Temple.

Wyatt quickly answered with a three-point play while igniting 15-3 Temple run over the next 3:35 that gave the Owls a 17-13 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Green & White snapped out of its offensive lull thanks to the duo of Moody and Fanning. Moody stopped the spurt with a ferocious slam off a nifty pass from senior Josh Thompson (Bridgeton, NJ / St. Augustine Prep) with just over 10 minutes until halftime. Fanning and Moody would each add four points over the next seven-plus minutes, only to have the lead swell back up to eight at 31-23 with 2:54 to play. As would be the story for the rest of the game, Wagner responded with an Ortiz three-point that trimmed the deficit to 31-26 at the 2:22 mark of the first. The Seahawks would then cut it to three on a Williams jumper and appeared poised to further dent the lead following a Moody rebound with 40 seconds remaining in the half.

However, after a timeout the Green & White turned the ball over and Wyatt hit a back-breaking three pointer as time expired to give Temple a 34-28 lead at the break.

In the opening period, the Owls shot a blistering 50.0 percent (7-for-14) from long range, while using a 10-4 advantage in points off turnovers to open up a 34-28 halftime lead. Wagner was able to stay in the game thanks to a dominating 18-8 advantage in points in the paint, while winning the battle of the boards (19-15).

After halftime, Ortiz opened the scoring with a jumper to trim the deficit to 34-30 with 18:41 to go. However, that would be as close as the Seahawks would get the rest of the way as Temple immediately answered with a pair of buckets to extend the lead back out to eight.

Wagner would cut the deficit to five on three more occasions, but was unable to get any closer. The Seahawks' best opportunity came after sophomore Marcus Burton (Charlotte, NC / David W. Butler) drained his lone three pointer of the afternoon with 10:29 remaining. Then after an Owl turnover, the Green & White missed a pair from the line, before missing a pair of layups on their offensive trip. As he did all afternoon, Wyatt answered with a jumper as Temple scored five-straight points in opening up a 56-46 lead with 5:18 remaining.

Later with the Owls clinging to a 64-55 lead with 39 seconds to play, Fanning converted an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the deficit to 64-58 with 33 seconds on the clock. Wagner nearly stole the inbounds pass, only to see Temple break the press and have Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson complete a three-point play of his own while for all intents and purposes sealing the Owl win.

For the game, Wagner dominated the glass by a 42-30 margin, including 15-8 on the offensive end, leading to a 30-24 advantage in points in the paint. However, the visitors were done in by allowing Temple to convert on a season-best 43.1 percent (9-for-19) from beyond the arc. The Seahawks entered today's game, having allowed the opposition to make good on just 24.7 percent from long range.

Wagner returns to action at Hofstra on Tuesday, December 4 at 7:00 pm.

NOTES:
* Today's game was the first-ever match-up between the teams.

* Wagner falls to 6-5, all-time, against members of the Atlantic 10 with 10 of the games decided by 10 points or less.

* Temple improves to 5-0, all-time, against teams affiliated with the NEC at the time of the game. The last time the Owls faced a NEC school was in a 65-62 win over Rider on November 16, 1995.

* The Seahawks lost for the first time since the 2010-2011 season when converting more free throws (13-11) than the opposition.

* Williams' performance caps a monster week that saw the California native average 20.3 points and 7.3 rebounds each time out over three games, while shooting 62.1 percent (23-for-37) from the floor and 93.3 percent from the line (14-for-15).

* On the year, he is averaging a team-best 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

* Fanning also had a big week notching 8.3 points per game on 61.5 percent (8-of-13) shooting, including 66.7 percent (4-for-6) from long range. 

* Moody's previous career-high in rebounds was 11 against Bryant on January 12, 2012.

* Today's game was the first for Wagner in the state of Pennsylvania since a 59-54 win over No. 15 Pitt on December 23, 2011.

* Temple improves to 155-43, all-time, at the Liacouras Center. Since the 2008-2009 season, the Owls are 51-4 in the buidling, including 40-2 the last four years.
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