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Temple Downs VCU in Last Atlantic Ten Regular-Season Game

This should take the Owls off the bubble.

Score: Temple: 84, VCU 74

Stars: Temple: Khalif Wyatt: 30 pts, 4 ast, 4 reb. Jake O'Brien: 19 pts, 4 reb, 3 blks. VCU: Juvonte Reddic: 20 pts, 9 reb Treveon Graham: 17 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast.

Story: In front of a sellout crowd at the Liacouras Center, Temple (23-8 ,11-5 A-10) capped off their time in the Atlantic Ten Conference in style, beating VCU (24-7 ,12-4 A-10) 84-74 to essentially clinch a spot for the NCAA tournament.

VCU came into Philadelphia as the 19th-ranked team in the country and second in the conference standings. The Rams jumped out to an early lead and led by 16 midway through the first half. Temple was having a difficult time breaking VCU's press and could not convert on their three-point shots, but the Owls were not going to allow VCU to break up their six-game winning streak and spoil their Senior Day. The Owls chipped away by being smarter with the ball and creating easy shot attempts. Jake O'Brien and Scootie Randall made threes in consecutive possessions and you could sense the momentum shifting as the crowd started to get behind the Owls. Temple cut it to a 5 point deficit at the half.

The Owls then came out firing in the second half and scored a season high 48 second-half points. Senior guard Khalif Wyatt had 20 of those as he drew foul after foul against the Rams defense. He shot only 8 of 18 from the field but he converted on 14 of his 16 free throw attempts. Jake O'Brien was also a thorn in the Ram's side the entire second half as he nailed four threes en route to his 19 points on the day. The Liacouras Center was alive the whole second half, and there was much to cheer about on the Owls last regular-season game as a member of the Atlantic Ten.

As Coach Dunphy said afterwards, "This was really special to us, to win such a big game on the senior's last home game was great. Our guys didn't back down and showed resilience as they have displayed all year, I knew we could chip away at the lead if we broke VCU's press better, and that's just what happened."

With this win Temple clinched the third seed for the conference tournament which means they have a bye to the quarterfinals. They also finished with 11 conference wins, and beat their third top 25 team this season putting any talks of 'bubble team' to the side -- they have essentially clinched an NCAA tournament bid for their sixth straight season. The Owls play next Friday in Brooklyn at the Atlantic Ten tournament, taking on the winner of the George Washington-Massachusetts game.