Dick Jerardi: Temple had Moore than Villanova

Cincinnati's Yancy Gates lands a punch to the face of Xavier's Tu Holloway during Saturday's brawl game.
Cincinnati's Yancy Gates lands a punch to the face of Xavier's Tu Holloway during Saturday's brawl game. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: December 12, 2011

**AROUND THE CITY**

STILL THE BEST:

Temple was the best team in the city when this season began. Even without two injured starters, the Owls were more than good enough to beat reeling Villanova on Saturday at the Liacouras Center, 78-67.

Villanova (5-4, 2-1 Big 5) has now lost four of five. Temple (6-2, 2-0) got 32 points from Ramone Moore (14 of 15 free throws) as they pulled away in the final 8 minutes.

NO SHOT:

Both teams combined to shoot just 7-for-37 from the arc. 'Nova was 3-for-20.

BIG GAME MOORE:

Moore's senior season did not get off to great start, but he is a big-moments player. When this game was on the line in those final 8 minutes, he won it for his team with winning-basketball plays.

NEEDED SOME HELP:

Maalik Wayns had 23 and Mouphtaou Yarou 14 for the Wildcats, but they did not get much help. Freshman Darrun Hilliard, who had been pretty good, shot 0-for-8.

GOT SOME HELP:

Temple's Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had 11 points and 14 boards, seven offensive.

HAWKS ARE SERIOUS:

When you watched Saint Joseph's play, you could see the Hawks were better. An 80-71 win over No. 19 Creighton at Hagan Arena proved it.

St. Joe's (7-3) took control late in the first half and never let it go. Creighton (7-1) came into the game shooting 56.8 percent from inside the arc, fourth-best nationally. St. Joe's interior defense held the Bluejays 16-for-40 (40 percent) from two-point range.

COULDN'T GUARD HIM:

Creighton could do nothing with the Hawks' scoring point guard, Tay Jones. That hesitation dribble, drive and finish looked like, dare it be said, Jameer Nelson circa 2004.

DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?

Ronald Roberts' dunk with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half, off a perfect dropoff from Jones, has to be the greatest dunk in recent Big 5 history. Hard to believe it was only the No. 4 ESPN Play of the Day.

THE GALLOWAY FACTOR:

Looking back now, you have to wonder if those close La Salle losses at Villanova and Pittsburgh might have been wins if Ramon Galloway had played. The South Carolina transfer, however, missed those games with a concussion.

Galloway had a career-best 26 points in La Salle's 76-64 win over Army (3-7). He shot 10-for-12, 6-for-7 from the arc.

STREAKING:

La Salle (7-3) won its fifth straight. The Explorers shot 53.8 percent overall and 15-for-29 (51.7 percent) from three.

CLOSE AGAIN FOR PENN:

Penn (5-6) is definitely better than last season. It is just not showing in the record. The Quakers lost, 77-73, to UCLA (3-5) at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Five of Penn's losses have been by a combined 26 points.

CLOSE TO HOME:

Tyler Bernardini, playing 65 miles up Interstate 5 from his Carlsbad home, had a career-best 29 points. He was 8-for-12 from the arc.

SAME TIME:

If Penn gets all its offensive firepower playing at the same time, it is going to be an Ivy factor. Zack Rosen had a rare bad shooting day (0-for-7 from the arc) against the Bruins after a 1-for-7 against Delaware. So, Rosen did what good players do - try to find a way. In the last two games, he has 18 assists and one turnover.

FINALLY HOME:

Drexel (3-4) finally played its first home game, beating Princeton, 64-60. The Tigers (4-6) played it smart down the stretch, forcing the Dragons, not a good free-throw shooting team, to win it from the line And they did, making 10 straight and 20-for-24 overall.

THE BEST NEWS:

Chris Fouch, who was really missed when Drexel stumbled out of the gate, had 23 points.

**ACROSS THE NATION**

PLEASE PRACTICE FOULING:

Remember how Memphis could have fouled Mario Chalmers rather than let him shoot that tying three in the 2008 national championship game?

Kentucky had two fouls to give and a two-point lead in the final seconds at Indiana on Saturday. Two players made halfhearted attempts at fouling Verdell Jones as he came up the court. He passed back to Christian Watford, who nailed the winning trey.

John Calipari, the Memphis coach then and UK coach now, said he told his players to foul in San Antonio and again in Bloomington. They clearly did not know how. Cal is a terrific coach, but he better start teaching his players how to foul.

THE WINNING NUMBERS:

UK shot 55.6 percent, IU 43.1 percent. So, how did this happen? IU was 9-for-15 from the arc, UK was 2-for-7. The power of three - again.

QUESTIONS ABOUT FIGHT:

The trigger for the brawl in Cincinnati with Xavier was set during the week when the Bearcats' Sean Kilpatrick suggested "X" star Tu Holloway could not start for his team, an obviously absurd statement.

There was lots of talking during the game because of that. Holloway was still talking to the Cincinnati bench in the final seconds.

Why, given the score (76-53), were Holloway and other "X" starters even in the game? What is up with this "disrespect" and "gangster" talk? What must the Jesuit fathers at Xavier have thought when they heard that? And why are players throwing punches? Is any game really this important?

THEN THERE WERE NINE:

The weekend began with 12 unbeaten teams. Now, we are down to Syracuse, Louisville, Xavier, Marquette, Missouri, Baylor, Indiana, Illinois and Murray State.

**JERARDI'S TOP 15**

1. Syracuse (10-0): Shot 50 percent and held George

Washington to 30.6 percent in 85-50 win. Philly's Dion Waiters had career-bests in points (19) and steals (6), along with five rebounds and four assists in just 21 minutes.

2. Ohio State (8-1): Lost, 78-67, at Kansas, but Jared Sullinger (back spasms) did not play.

3. Kentucky (8-1): Did not play the endgame at all well in a wild 73-72 loss at Indiana.

4. Louisville (9-0): Crushed FDU, 80-58. Won't dazzle with offense, but plays defense with passion on every possession.

5. Xavier (8-0): Blew away Cincinnati, 76-53, in Crosstown Shootout that ended with a wild and very ugly fight.

6. Missouri (9-0): All five starters were in double figures as Tigers crushed Navy, 84-59. Lots of firepower here.

7. North Carolina (8-2): Shot 51.5 percent in 84-78 win over Long Beach State. More offensive talent than anybody.

8. Duke (9-1): Beat Washington, 86-80, at Madison Square Garden. Led by 19 in second half before poor foul shooting (27-of-44) and a nice Huskies comeback made it close.

9. Marquette (9-0): Shot 50 percent and had 15 steals in 79-61 win over Green Bay.

10. Baylor (7-0): Been pounding everybody, including a 28-point win at then-7-0 Northwestern.

11. Indiana (9-0): Giant win over Kentucky when Christian Watford hit that three at the buzzer. Loved the scene after the finish when the entire floor was covered with people.

12. Michigan State (8-2): Draymond Green had 34 points in a 74-67 win at Gonzaga. Shot 54.2 percent. Losses to UNC and Duke.

13. Kansas (7-2): Shot 58.3 percent in home win over Ohio State. Just about unbeatable at Allen.

14. Connecticut (8-1): The champs have a lot of answers and figure to be a lot better in March than in December.

15. Wisconsin (8-2): Bo still knows. Badgers beat UNLV, 62-51. Ben Brust was 7-for-7 from the arc. Losses were to UNC and Marquette.

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