"Moore has a scorer's mentality," a dejected St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli said.
"Ramone Moore made a great play," Hawks senior Garrett Williamson said, forcing a smile. "I'm going to hate him a little while for that."
The play sent the game into overtime.
Williamson, who played all 45 minutes, had just given the Hawks a 59-57 edge on a driving basket with 5.7 seconds remaining. The din in the old building had yet to subside when Moore sprinted downcourt after taking an inbound pass from Lavoy Allen in full stride. Moore dropped in a layup with 1.5 seconds to go, extending the suspense.
"I jumped and tried to deflect the inbounds pass," said Williamson, who scored 20 points and contributed four assists while playing his usual stellar defense. "I probably should have sprinted back."
Juan Fernandez gave the 21st-ranked Owls (22-5, 10-2) impetus, beginning overtime by sinking a wide-open three-pointer, and St. Joe's, which played from behind most of the game, couldn't catch them this time. Moore scored two baskets in overtime as Temple closed the game with a 9-3 spurt.
Moore has created a bit of a dilemma for Dunphy, but it's one of those no-lose propositions any coach would happily ponder. Dunphy has had the 6-foot-4 guard from Southern High in the starting lineup the last four games while Fernandez fully recovered from the effects of a head injury he suffered Jan. 23. The last six games, Moore has averaged 16.7 points, leading the Owls. By his own account, Fernandez, who scored 13 points and played 33 minutes yesterday, is back at full strength.
Fernandez is a "team guy, and he'll do what we think is the right thing to do, but we're going to have to sit down and go over it," Dunphy said. "To me, it doesn't matter who starts. It's who's out there at crunch time, and obviously we went with four guards down the stretch, and that helped us."
Moore wasn't the first option for Allen on the inbounds play. It was Fernandez, but the point guard was well guarded. Moore noticed and sprinted to an opening, where Allen found him. Once he got the ball, Moore knew what to do.
"I was just going straight to the rim to tie the game," he said.
Sitting next to Moore, Allen smiled and let it be known he thought he deserved a little credit.
"It was a great inbounds pass, by the way," he said.
The win assured the Owls of at least a tie for first place in the A-10 and gave them a 3-0 record in the Big Five. St. Joseph's is in a logjam of teams fighting for the 12th and final spot in the conference tourney. The Hawks dropped to 1-2 in the Big Five.
Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or email@example.com.