Hawkward: Temple Throttles St. Joe's; Rollouts, Notes and Audio Below

Hawkward: Temple Throttles St. Joe's; Rollouts, Notes and Audio Below

As Phil Martelli put it after the game, the 78-60 final doesn't even begin to do justice to the Temple Owls' "domination" of the St. Joseph's Hawks on Saturday afternoon. Indeed, Temple was up by as much as 28 with just under four minutes remaining in the game; they had secured the victory long before that.

Only three Temple players -- Ramone Moore, Juan Fernandez, and Michael Eric -- would score in the first half, with Fernandez and Moore responsible for 32 of the Owls' 38 points in the opening twenty. Temple took a 14 point lead into the locker room and never looked back.

Assorted notes, quotes, post-game audio and a full rollout recap after the jump:

Temple Notes
-- Moore and Fernandez finished the game with 21 points and 17 points, respectively, after finishing the first with 17 and 15. The two combined to shoot 15 for 24 from the field.

-- As a team, Temple -- who came into the game with the second best three point percentage in the conference at 39.4% -- shot exactly 60% from the floor (30-50) and 53.5% from three.

-- Though junior guard Khalif Wyatt did not go off for at least 20 points for what would have been the sixth time in the last eight games, he did do an impressive job setting up his teammates early. As Fernandez and Moore opened hot, it was Wyatt who was most often getting them the ball. Khalif finished the first half with six assists and set a new career-high with eight total.

-- Four Owls scorers -- Moore, Fernandez, Wyatt and Eric -- finished in double figures.

-- Speaking of Eric, he was on the floor for 17 minutes (just as he was at Charlotte), but showed signs that he could have gone longer had the game been closer. A post-up, spin move, dunk sequence in the second half made it look as if the Nigerian Nightmare has put his patella injury behind him.
-- The win moves Temple to 15-5 overall and 4-2 in the A-10.

St. Joe's Notes
-- Junior guard and SJU leading scorer Carl Jones finished the game with just five points on 1 for 5 shooting. Martelli commented after the game that he did not believe Jones' recent ankle injury was still a factor in the guard's recent slump. "Tay" is just 12 of 46 from the floor in his last five games.

-- Sophomore Langston Galloway was also held in check by the Temple perimeter defense, finishing with just seven points on 3 for 9 shooting. It was Galloway who was the primary cover on Moore in the first half.

-- With his 17 points, SJU power forward Ronald Roberts was the only Hawk to finish in double figures. Temple has had consistent problems this year guarding opposing bigs with Roberts' skill set. Today was no different, as the 6-8 sophomore grabbed 10 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season.

-- As for total rebounds, Joe's topped the Owls 34-27, pulling down 15 offensive boards. Temple coach Fran Dunphy immediately pointed to that statistic and SJU's 18 second chance points as the elements of the box score with which he was the most displeased.
-- The loss drops St. Joseph's to 13-9 and 3-4 in the A10.

Odds and Ends
-- As for specifics odds and ends, Temple obviously covered it's 6.5-point spread. The two teams' combined score of 138 fell under the 141.5 O/U.

-- The win is Temple's 10th straight over SJU, dating back to Feb. 2008. It is the fifth double-digit win streak in the 153 games played between the schools. No team has won more than eleven straight, a record Temple will have the opportunity to tie when they travel to the St. Joseph's Fieldhouse later this season.

-- The announced attendance of 10,203 was the second largest crowd in Liacouras Center history. It was the 13th basketball sellout in the building's history and the second this season. The Temple media notes state that the team has sold out four home games -- St. Joe's, Villanova, Duke, Maryland -- at three different venues -- Apollo, Wells Fargo, Palestra -- this season (though last weekend's Maryland game was alleged to have been a "neutral site contest"). The only larger crowd to watch a basketball game at the Liacouras Center came in 2004 when the Owls hosted Jameer Nelson, Delonte West and the undefeated St. Joseph's Hawks.

Rollout RecapTemple's Cherry Crusade
(1) "The last time you beat us, our freshmen were freshmen...in high school."
(2) "La Salle is more relevant than you."
(3) "Only Tebow can save the Hawk."
(4) "Only ITT Tech accepts more than SJU."
(5) "So who's NOT transferring this year?"
(6) "Free O'Brien."
(7) "Who wears short-shorts?" (See here:[embed]http://yhoo.it/zJLUU7)
(8) "Things Delonte West got into: SJU, LeBron's Mom, White House."
(9) "This is our ciTy."

St. Joseph's Student Section
(1) "More gangsta: TU Holloway or TU students?"
(2) "Not Ready for Hagan."
(3) "The Hawk Will Never Die."

Quotes
-- Phil Martelli on the outcome: "What the final score, actually what that final score doesn't even indiciate, is how we were domianted. But they dominated"..."That was not really much of a contest. And it wasn't individual. I just said that to the players. We got waxed, not an individual guy lost his matchup. And when you play Dunph's teams that's what you're really playing. You're playing a team concept and not an individual."

-- Juan Fernandez on Temple winning 10 in a row over the Hawks: "That's one of the tough things about playing St. Joe's, especially now. You always want to keep (the streak alive). But we know that they know what the streak has been lately and we expect them to take pride and try to reverse that. Later on, we're going to have to go to their place and it's going to be tough. We keep that in mind and we try to stay focused. It's always good to beat them, obviously. It's good to beat any city team. We just have to stay focused and play our game if we want to keep that streak going."

-- Fran Dunphy on Phil Martelli's Relationship with the Coaches versus Cancer cause: "We've been doing [Coaches versus Cancer] since 1996, and it means a lot. There is nobody, including people in this room, who are not effected by this disease"..."I will tell you flat out that nobody is better than Martelli in this cause. No one. No one here in Philadelphia, certainly. No one throughout the country. The man never says 'no,' is everywhere he can be, and I'm very proud that he has done what he has done for this cause."

-- Dunphy on the atmosphere: "It was great. Any time we can get that student representation, especially, that would be terrific for us. So now the next issue is, we play here on Wednesday. We'd like to get an equal representation on Wednesday. That will be important for us. I want to get the message out to the students that that's how important they are to what it is we do. It's of critical importance. Temple is a very supportive place in so many different ways. We need the support of that student body and I really appreciate what they did today."

-- Dunphy on having to play at the Hagan Arena later this season: "We've got to go back there in a couple weeks. They (St. Joe's) will be more than ready."

Downloadable Post-Game Audio
Phil Martelli

Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore

Fran Dunphy

Sixers beat Pelicans without Joel Embiid leading the way

uspresswire-sixers-ilyasova-rodriguez.jpg
USA Today Images

Sixers beat Pelicans without Joel Embiid leading the way

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS -- Joel Embiid shot just 5 for 15 from the field and the Sixers … wait … the Sixers won. 

Surprising? Actually, that’s just how the Sixers envision finding success.

It’s not about Embiid having a relatively quiet night on offense with 14 points, especially going 0 for 5 from three. It’s about other players getting involved and taking the burden off the rookie. Embiid has proved he can do a lot of things, but carrying a team each night in his first season isn’t what the Sixers have in mind. 

“I think that’s when we’re at our best,” Nik Stauskas said after the Sixers beat the Pelicans 99-88 (see Instant Replay). “Obviously there are a few guys in the NBA like a LeBron (James), KD (Kevin Durant) or Steph (Curry) that can single-handedly win a game throughout the entire season. But most of the teams are going to rely on bench players to step up and make shots and make plays. I think that’s when we’re most effective.”

Embiid entered Thursday night averaging 24.3 points and shooting 48.9 percent in Sixers wins (three games played). His 14 points against the Pelicans were his fewest in a victory this season. He also grabbed seven boards with four blocks and three steals as the team snapped an overall eight-game losing skid and an 23-game road losing streak. 

Instead of being powered offensively by their centerpiece, the Sixers received solid efforts from the starters and reserves. Ersan Ilyasova scored 23 points (along with eight rebounds) for the second straight game. Sergio Rodriguez chipped in 16 points and eight assists. Off the bench,  Stauskas hit three treys en route to 14 points while Dario Saric scored 10 points with five rebounds. 

Embiid’s teammates attribute their success to the fact he is such a focal point of the opponents’ defense. In comparison to the beginning of the season when Embiid was getting stifled by double-teams, he has been learning how to pass out of them. Embiid expects to see two defenders every game and has been making adjustments to create opportunities for others to shoot rather than committing turnovers. 

“We’re not standing around a lot and just focusing on what Jo can do,” Robert Covington said. “Jo is making great moves to find guys that are open. He’s willing to pass. We’re starting to build the chemistry that everyone’s been looking for.”

Ilyasova has noticed a change in the flow of the offense and has capitalized on defensive mismatches when opponents swarm Embiid. 

“We just share the ball well,” Ilyasova said. “I find myself open. Obviously Joel does a great job of as far as when there is a double-team, just kicking out. When I see the open look, I try to knock that shot down.” 

This style of play is mutually beneficial for both Embiid and his teammates. Just because Embiid is passing out doesn't mean he's not getting his looks. Oftentimes, dishing out of a double-team allows him to get a better look on the next touch. 

“It’s a team effort," Covington said. "We’re doing so much as a unit that we’re not just focusing on just get Jo the ball and let him do his thing. He’s getting the ball, he’s surveying the floor and then he’s making his moves. He’s reading the defense really well. He’s doing a lot of [kicking out]. Then we find him a lot of re-posts and finding the open shot and making it easy for him to find the easy bucket.” 

Embiid is capable of scoring 20-plus in spite of his 28-minute restriction. The Sixers are making strides, though, by finding ways to win when he isn’t the running up the scoreboard. 

“I think there’s no doubt Jo is our best player and our offense is going to revolve around him most of the time,” Stauskas said. “But we’re playing our best when he’s posting up and kicking out to guys and they’re hitting threes or we’re taking pressure off him by making plays and the defense can’t just be solely focused on him. In a game like tonight, that’s kind of what you saw.”

Connor McDavid: Brandon Manning made 'classless' comments about injury

Connor McDavid: Brandon Manning made 'classless' comments about injury

Connor McDavid scored his first power-play goal of the season in the second period during the Flyers' 6-5 win on Thursday night (see Instant Replay). After his 12th goal of the year, McDavid made a point to stare down and exchange words with Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning.

In the first period, Manning and McDavid were in the middle of a scrum after the whistle, chirping each other (see 10 observations). The battle between the two roots back to when Manning broke the rising superstar’s collarbone November 2015 during a play against the boards in Edmonton.

“You know what, I did all I could defending him last year in the media," McDavid said after Thursday's game. "I didn’t want to make a big deal saying he did it on purpose.

"He wanted to make some comments today about what went on last year and I thought it was one of the classless things I’ve ever seen on the ice. He said some things and our guys responded accordingly.

"We can put the whole 'he did it on purpose' thing to rest, because what he said out there confirmed that. It shows what kind of guy he is, how he doesn’t step up and fight some of our guys.”

Manning received death threats from Edmonton fans last season, and responded after the game Thursday, reiterating the play that injured McDavid was an accident.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here," Manning said, "knows that I am not that kind of player. I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that.

"I think going back to last year, it was a total accident. I mean, there were three players involved and there was never any intention of hurting anyone."

The injury ended up costing McDavid a few months, and a year later, the tension is still high between him and Manning.

As the second period moved along, McDavid continued to make plays for the Oilers. At the 4:35 mark in the second period, he took the puck away from the Flyers and then helped set up Andrej Sekera for a shorthanded goal that tied the game, 3-3.

The shorthanded goal helped give the Oilers momentum at the end of the period, but they could not carry it over to the third. The loss Thursday is the second night in a row in which Edmonton lost a game it looked like it was going to win.

“I’m not too sure what it is but I think we will figure it out,” McDavid said. "I’m not too sure what it is, like I said before. Something we need to figure out real fast here.”