Khalif Wyatt getting little scoring help from Temple teammates

Posted: February 03, 2013

Khalif Wyatt didn't have a capable sidekick.

And not having a reliable second scorer is one of the reasons the Temple Owls left Hagan Arena hanging their heads.

Wyatt scored a career-high 34 points in Saturday night's 70-69 setback to St. Joseph's. He scored 21 of his points after intermission.

The senior guard had two chances to win the game in the closing seconds. First his layup with seven-tenths of a second left was blocked by St. Joseph's Halil Kanacevic. Then after a timeout, he misfired on a rushed, off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer.

All 4,200 in attendance surely knew the 6-foot-4 guard was going to attempt those shots. That's because, on this night, he had no choice.

Wyatt's teammates were ineffective after halftime, scoring just 11 points on 4-for-19 shooting in the final 20 minutes. The last non-Wyatt basket was Jake O'Brien's layup to put Temple (14-7, 3-4 Atlantic Ten) up by 53-49 with 8 minutes, 50 seconds left.

"Sometimes when he is doing his thing, we have a tendency to stand and watch," coach Fran Dunphy said. "We will work on guys moving quicker, better execution of getting open shots to include Scootie [Randall]. We need to get him more shots."

Randall, a 6-6 swingman, scored six points three nights after producing a team-high 21-point effort against Richmond. He made two of his first three shots - all three-pointers - against the Hawks (13-7, 4-3). Then he missed his final five field-goal attempts. Four of those were in the second half.

Point guard Will Cummings (11 points) shot 0 for 5 in the second half. Center Anthony Lee (two points) was 0 for 1 and not involved in the offense. Reserve forward Jake O'Brien (nine points) made 2 of 5 shots. Forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (four points) was the second-half sidekick, making 2 of 4 from the field.

After O'Brien's layup, the Owls not named Wyatt missed their final seven shot attempts. They only had one attempt in the final 2:19, that one resulting in Cummings' missed layup with the Owls' trailing, 68-66, with 16 seconds left.

"They just made us take tough shots," Cummings said. "In the first half we were getting good looks. We were in the flow of the offense and everything like that.

"The second half, I guess they kind of regrouped and made sure they forced us to take tough shots."

Do the Owls players think Wyatt can keep carrying them?

"It's who's making shots. If he's making every shot he's taking, we are going to keep giving him the ball," Cummings said.


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

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