Owls Catch Duquesne, Then Cruise John Chaney Was Not Happy, However. "Guys Wide Open - We're Not Passing The Ball. . . . There's No Chemistry On The Floor." Ron Rollerson Had 13 Boards.

Posted: February 02, 2001

PITTSBURGH — For a second last night, it looked as if the Temple Owls were entering a familiar nightmare. The Duquesne Dukes started a walk-on who had played only seven minutes all season, and had not scored in two years.

Naturally, Matt Barker hit two quick three-point field goals and Duquesne had an early 16-8 lead. Was it the start of an interesting evening? Not for the home fans. Temple scored 22 of the game's next 24 points. After leading by as many as 28 points midway through the second half, the Owls cruised to an 84-58 victory at the Palumbo Center.

The pace was like that of a summer-league game. The Owls scored 50 points in the first half, then turned the second half into a dunkfest. There were career highs up and down the statistics sheet.

"You say something nice. I'm not," Owls coach John Chaney said of his team, which improved to 12-10 overall and 6-2 in the Atlantic Ten, but is still a long way from even being on the NCAA tournament bubble.

Temple's coach offered a general critique.

"Big games, we're just not rising to the occasion," he said. "Guys wide open - we're not passing the ball. A game like tonight, which was somewhat of an easier game, they're not looking for each other. There's no chemistry on the floor.

"They're good kids. But in terms of them playing together like they should, they're not. I've had teams that used their heads. This is a team that plays headless. I see it every day. The smartest player on my team happens to be Kevin Lyde, and he didn't play today."

Asked if the Owls could right the ship, Chaney, who always chides his team the most after their easiest wins, said: "I don't think so. We're sinking. I think we're a sinking ball club."

Another Chaney complaint: He has never had a team, he said, that has committed so many offensive fouls.

Lyde sat out with an inflamed left Achilles tendon that had popped up during the morning shoot-around. Ron Rollerson took advantage of his extended minutes, grabbing a personal-best 13 rebounds, including nine in the first half.

The Dukes could not keep Rollerson away from the basket. They do not have a legitimate center since Simon Ogunlesi was deported to England earlier this season, stemming from earlier bank fraud charges.

At 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, Jack May gave up a couple of inches and more than 100 pounds to Rollerson.

"He's so big in there, he just clogs it up," Duquesne coach Darrelle Porter said of Rollerson.

Quincy Wadley led five Owls scorers in double figures with 21 points. Lynn Greer and David Hawkins had 17 each. Alex Wesby and Rollerson had 10 each.

Temple led, 50-29, at halftime because the Owls had 11 second-chance points to none for the Dukes and had 11 points off turnovers to none for the Dukes. After that early Duquesne flurry, when the Dukes made 6 of 7 shots, Temple outscored the Dukes, 44-13, the rest of the half.

Wadley had the hot hand as Temple regained the lead. He hit a 25-footer and a 22-footer, and drove for a three-point play on three straight Owls possessions. He made 5 of his first 6 shots. Temple scored on 12 of 13 possessions. The only miss was when Hawkins was called for a charge. Even on that one, his shot went in the basket.

Porter is trying all sorts of combinations of players for his struggling team. The Dukes lost, 81-48, Saturday at home to Xavier. Last night, Strawberry Mansion graduate Kevin Forney, Duquesne's third-leading scorer, played only 10 minutes and scored two points.

As they would in a recreation league game, the officials went for long stretches without needing to blow their whistles. Temple did not commit its first defensive foul until 4 minutes, 35 seconds remained in the first half.

The second half was a Greg Jefferson highlight reel. There was his alley-oop dunk on a pass from Hawkins. Another flying dunk. A steal that led to a dunk by Hawkins. Jefferson had career highs in minutes (27), points (8), rebounds (8), blocked shots (2), and steals (2).

In addition to his career high in rebounds, Rollerson had another with four blocked shots.

Mike Jensen's e-mail address is mjensen@phillynews.com.

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