Score: Temple 76, Rhode Island 70
Stars: Temple: Khalif Wyatt: 24 Pts, 3 Ast, 3 Reb. Jake O'Brien: 16 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast. Rhode Island: Xavier Munford: 30 Pts.
Story: In a matinee affair at the Liacouras Center today, Temple (21-8, 9-5 A-10) won its fifth straight game, beating Rhode Island (8-19, 3-11 A-10) 76-70 in front of a packed house.
It was a tight game throughout as Rhode Island played much better basketball then its record indicates. Atlantic Ten leading scorer Xavier Munford lived up to the hype, leading the Rams on the offensive end with 30 points. He single-handedly kept the Rams close with his five 3-balls. Temple's senior Khalif Wyatt led the team with 24 points, but the Owls had balanced scoring as four players were in double figures. Senior forward Rhalir Hollis-Jefferson was a force for Temple on the glass; grabbing 13 rebounds while playing the entire forty minutes. With six minutes to play, Munford got a technical foul, giving him four fouls on the afternoon, forcing coach Hurley to put his star on the bench at a crucial part of the game.
Coach Dunphy said afterwards, "Yeah I think that is what changed the game, when Munford got his fourth foul late in the game it kind of slowed them down. Certainly, if I was coach Hurley I would not have wanted to take him off the court for any stretch of time".
The win puts Temple in a tie for the 4th seed in the Atlantic Ten with only two games remaining; at Fordam on Wednesday and then a home date with VCU next Sunday to close out the regular season.
This Also Happened... Temple alum and recent super bowl champ Bernard Pierce was honored at halftime for his successful first season in the NFL.