Wyatt and Randall lead Temple past Delaware

Temple's Scootie Randall looks to shoot over Delaware's Marvin King-Davis. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Temple's Scootie Randall looks to shoot over Delaware's Marvin King-Davis. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 26, 2012

The Temple Owls have started the season with three straight wins for the first time in Fran Dunphy's coaching tenure.

But Dunphy saw plenty of room for improvement Sunday after a somewhat defenseless 80-75 victory over Delaware.

Temple is 3-0 for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign, when it finished 24-13 and reached the NCAA tournament's Elite Eight.

"I'm happy to be 3-0," said Dunphy, who is in his seventh season with the Owls. "I would like us to be playing a little bit better basketball right now.

"But we will take it and move on to Buffalo on Wednesday."

Temple guard Khalif Wyatt, swingman Scootie Randall, forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, and reserve forward Jake O'Brien had a lot to do with the victory.

Wyatt and Randall scored 18 points apiece to lead the Owls. Randall hit a pair of foul shots with a second left to seal the victory. The fifth-year senior also finished with eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Wyatt had a game-high seven assists. Hollis-Jefferson added 10 points and four steals, while O'Brien finished with a season-high 13 points. A Boston University transfer who is taking graduate courses, O'Brien made 3 of 5 three-pointers.

But Temple had a tough time putting the undermanned Blue Hens away.

Delaware (2-4) was without its second-leading scorer in sophomore guard Jarvis Threatt (bruised kidney) and third-leading scorer in Josh Brinkley (sprained right knee). But the Blue Hens shot 56.9 percent from the field and kept erasing seven- to 10-point deficits.

Temple had a hard time stopping forward Jamelle Hagins (29 points, 12 rebounds) and guard Devon Saddler (25 points).

Randall said he was disappointed over Temple's failure to put the Blue Hens away earlier.

"But the more disappointing you get [in the game], the more you lose focus," he said. "So we just tried to stay positive the whole time.

"Shots are going to come, and foul shots are going to come. We've just got be able to knock them down."

And they did.

The Blue Hens pulled within a point with 8 minutes, 30 seconds remaining and within three points three times after that. Each time, the Owls stepped up with big shots or clutch free throws.

But Dunphy said Temple must improve on everything in order to beat Buffalo on Wednesday.

"We need to defend better," he said. "We need to shot-select better. I think we have to be a little bit more understanding of what our goals are."

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at kpompey@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @pompeysgridlock.

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