Temple defeats Seton Hall, 62-56

Temple guard T.J. DiLeo is pressured by Seton Hall's Ferrakohn Hall. Temple shot 46.9 percent in the first half.
Temple guard T.J. DiLeo is pressured by Seton Hall's Ferrakohn Hall. Temple shot 46.9 percent in the first half.
Posted: November 13, 2010

As teams playing first games routinely do, Temple showed glimpses of greatness mixed with mental mistakes.

On Friday night, the No. 22-ranked Owls turned over the ball but built a commanding lead - and nearly surrendered it. In the end, Temple escaped with a 62-56 season-opening victory over Seton Hall at the Liacouras Center.

"Obviously, the last couple of minutes we did not manage that very well," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, whose squad began the season 1-0 for the third consecutive year. "But overall, I saw some good things. Hopefully, we will get better. I don't think our offense ran smoothly."

The Owls built a commanding 60-44 cushion on a Rahlir Jefferson basket with 4 minutes, 16 seconds remaining. That turned out to be Temple's final field goal of the game.

The Pirates capitalized by going on a 12-0 run to pull within four points with 20 seconds remaining.

Temple's Juan Fernandez responded by running time off the clock before hitting a pair of free throws with 1.9 seconds to go.

The junior point guard talked afterward about Seton Hall's late run.

"Well, I would say concerned, but while you are playing you know there's something you are doing wrong. You try to figure it out right away. . . . And they made huge shots at the end."

Junior guard Ramone Moore led Temple with 14 points. Fernandez scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half. The native of Argentina finished with a career-best seven rebounds to go with five assists and two steals, but committed four turnovers.

Jefferson, the Owls' reserve sophomore forward, had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and a blocked shot in posting his first career double-double. Temple center Micheal Eric, a junior, finished with eight points, six rebounds, and five blocks.

Seton Hall was led by senior guard Jeremy Hazell, who finished with a game-high 17 points. Pirates forward Herb Pope was ineffective and appeared out of shape after having off-season surgery to repair a genetic heart abnormality.

The 6-foot-8 junior made just 2 of 10 field goals and finished with five points and eight rebounds.

Early on, the Owls were out of sync, committing 12 of their 18 turnovers before intermission. As a result, Seton Hall built a 17-13 advantage with 11:42 to play before intermission.

Things started to look bleak for the Owls once senior power forward Lavoy Allen (nine points, nine rebounds, three blocks, three assists), picked up his second foul with 10:55 left in the half.

Instead, the opposite happened.

The Owls put on a first-half clinic with their best player sidelined. Temple went on a 21-2 run to take a 34-20 lead, with Fernandez scoring seven consecutive points.

As expected, Temple freshman forward Anthony Lee (heel) sat out Friday's game. Senior forward Craig Williams (foot) also missed the game. Williams is expected to be out for a month.

The Owls' next game is 3 p.m. Sunday against Toledo at the Liacouras Center.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock

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