Dec 22, 2012, 2:20 PM EST
Coming off an upset loss to Canisius Wednesday, Temple had little rest before it walked into Madison Square Garden Saturday against No. 3 Syracuse.
And with an overwhelming majority of Syracuse fans in attendance, Temple used smart basketball to grind out a win over the Orange, 83-79, in Manhattan.
Khalif Wyatt scored a career-high 33 points, including 20 in the first half, then also worked to facilitate scoring for his teammates for much of the second half. The biggest beneficiary of that was Anthony Lee, who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Lee’s presence on the block against the No. 4 rebounding team in the country was key, pushing for position and fighting for six offensive rebounds, which afforded Temple important ball-control and second-chance opportunities.
Aside from Wyatt, the Owls struggled in the first half. While Wyatt scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, the rest of the team scored just 18 on 5-of-17 from the floor.
Temple attacked the patented Syracuse zone by working the ball into the middle and on the baseline, then working it back to the outside for open shots on the perimeter.
When trailing by 10 with 9:34 remaining in the first half, two threes by transfer Jake O’Brien spurred a 10-2 run that put the Owls back into the game.
Temple then started the second half on a 12-2 run, growing its lead to as many as seven points in the first ten minutes of the second half.
At that point, though, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim implemented a full-court press that clearly made Temple uncomfortable, increasing the pace and allowing the Orange to tie the game at 59 with 10:18 remaining.
Sophomore Michael Carter-Williams scored his first field goal of the game during that stretch, a layup with 15:16 remaining. He struggled offensively and from the free throw line on the game with 13 points on 3-of-15 shooting and 7-of-15 from the free throw line.
He picked up his fourth foul with 5:48 remaining, which forced him to play cautiously in a key stretch of the second half.
C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche were the two engines behind the Syracuse offense Saturday with Carter-Williams’ lull. Fair finished with 25 points and Triche had 17.
Temple became more comfortable with the Syracuse pressure after the nine-minute mark, going on an 11-3 run to expand the lead to eight points.
Fair struck again late in the second half, hitting a three from the corner to pull Syracuse within one possession with 3:07 to play.
Although Syracuse pulled within one point, 74-73, late in the second half, Temple never relinquished the lead.
The loss snaps Syracuse’s 52-game regular season, non-conference winning streak.
Dec 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EST
Kethan Savage should change his last name to Posterized.
Dec 22, 2014, 5:45 PM EST
Illinois has to get more offense around Rayvonte Rice before a road-heavy start to the Big Ten season.
Dec 22, 2014, 3:06 PM EST
There are some 86 games on tonight.
Dec 22, 2014, 2:28 PM EST
With conference play right around the corner, who have been the best players in the country?
Dec 22, 2014, 1:41 PM EST
If there’s anything that can ruin Kentucky’s dream of a perfect season, it’s coming from their own locker room.
Dec 22, 2014, 11:54 AM EST
We went an entire week without an unbeaten losing.
Dec 22, 2014, 11:25 AM EST
It’s great that the Rams do this.
Dec 22, 2014, 10:01 AM EST
The Buckeyes are 9-2, dropping both of their key non-conferences games against ranked opponents.
Dec 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
Some new faces make their way into the Weekly Awards.
Dec 22, 2014, 6:30 AM EST
The top 12 remain the same, but there was plenty of movement in and around the rest of the top 25.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:09 PM EST
Yeah, you’re going to want to see this.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:31 PM EST
Four of the eight teams in the field reached the NCAA tournament last season.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:22 PM EST
Virginia limited Harvard to 27 points, Maryland won at Oklahoma State, and Georgia picked up a solid home win.
Dec 21, 2014, 7:04 PM EST
Could the Terps be the second-best team in the Big Ten? At the very least they’ve earned their place in the conversation.
Dec 21, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
Harrell was assessed a flagrant 2 foul in Saturday’s win over Western Kentucky.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:42 PM EST
Coaches donning festive holiday sweaters doesn’t happen all that often in college basketball.
Dec 21, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
Brad Stevens left Butler in 2013, agreeing to a six-year deal with the Boston Celtics, but that will not stop his name being linked to one specific college job.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:43 PM EST
Harvard did not set the record for lowest field goal percentage or lowest first-half points, but the Crimson did tie an NCAA record on Sunday afternoon.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:15 PM EST
The Orange and Wildcats have split a home-and-home series since the old Big East disbanded several years ago.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:15 AM EST
The Louisville forward spoke about the incident that took place at the end of the first half against Western Kentucky following the game.
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