Benched player and botched D hurt Owls

Posted: February 17, 2008

DAYTON, Ohio — Missed assignments - in the classroom and on the court - proved costly in Temple's 77-66 loss to Dayton yesterday afternoon at UD Arena.

With freshman forward Lavoy Allen benched for missing a study assignment, the Owls missed too many defensive assignments and fell into a big hole against the recently wobbly Flyers.

Senior guard Brian Roberts scored 23 points as the Atlantic Ten's early-season surprise won for just the third time in its last nine games. Dayton improved to 17-7 and 5-6 in the conference. Temple fell to 13-11, 6-4.

Allen came off the bench and contributed four points and two rebounds in 25 minutes. He had averaged 11 points and seven rebounds in Temple's previous five games - four of them victories.

"I missed an assignment," Allen said afterward. "I let my team down. And then when I first came in the game, I was a little slow. There was no excuse for that. I set my team back, but I learned my lesson."

Playing from behind, as they had in home-court victories over Massachusetts and Rhode Island last week, the Owls simply couldn't get the job done on the road.

"It's different on the road," coach Fran Dunphy said. "If you're coming back, you need to be almost flawless. It's a good lesson for us."

The real lesson, Dunphy continued, is: Don't fall behind in the first place.

The Flyers took control with a run of three-pointers midway through the first half. And it wasn't Roberts but backcourt mates Mickey Perry, Marcus Johnson and Andres Sandoval who hit the big shots for the home team.

"They set the tone in the first half," Temple guard Mark Tyndale said. "We were trying to cheat on Roberts a little bit, and they got shots from some guys that we weren't expecting to hit shots."

Temple ranks last in the A-10 in three-point percentage defense.

Ahead by five at halftime, Dayton pushed its lead to 48-35 before the Owls went on a 10-2 run, getting a four-point play from Dionte Christmas (19 points) and a three-point play from Tyndale (19). But the Flyers answered with a 9-2 run and were never seriously threatened again.

From Dunphy's perspective, the Owls did a better job defending the three-point line in the second half. They just couldn't stop Roberts from hitting a pair of deep bombs.

"Stopping Roberts was the key to the game," Tyndale said. "And he destroyed us."

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