Instant Replay: Temple 77, St. Joe's 69

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Instant Replay: Temple 77, St. Joe's 69

BOX SCORE

Typical Big 5 game. Physical, tight, controversially officiated. The whole thing.

And somebody always has to play the hero. Wednesday night, it was Anthony Lee.

The junior big man scored seven points in the final two minutes to carry the Owls over St. Joe's, 77-69, at the Liacouras Center.

Lee finished with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double.

For St. Joseph's, Langston Galloway scored 16 of his game-high 24 in the second half, but struggled to get much help from his teammates down the stretch.

Temple's win snaps a two-game losing streak to St. Joe's and extends a five-game winning streak over the Hawks at home dating back to 2009. Temple has now won 11 of the last 13 games in the series.

The Owls advanced to 4-3 overall and 2-0 against the Big 5, while the Hawks dropped to 4-3 and 0-1.

Turning point
Galloway tied the game at 65 with 2:19 remaining on two straight jumpers, when neither team had led by more than five points the entire game.

Lee put Temple back ahead by five with lay-ins bookending a made free throw by Quenton DeCosey.

Lee was then fouled with 28 seconds remaining, made his first free throw, missed the second, but got his own rebound, was fouled again, and made two more foul shots to put Temple up, 73-67. St. Joe's never recovered.

The final score was Temple's largest lead of the night.

B.M.O.C.
Galloway led all scorers with 24 points on 8 for 16 shooting from the floor and 6 for 12 shooting from three.

Three other Hawks -- Ron Roberts, Halil Kanacevic and DeAndre Bembry -- finished in double figures, but Roberts was scoreless for most of the second and Kanacevic missed considerable time on the bench with four fouls.

For Temple, Will Cummings and Dalton Pepper tied for a team-high 16 and both battled cramping late. Pepper left the game for eight of the final 10 minutes trying get hydrated.

Inside the box score
• Temple's bench outscored St. Joe's, 25-2.

• Cummings' seven assist were a game high and tied a career high for the junior guard.

• The lead changed hands 17 times and neither team led by more than five points until the final minute.

• St. Joe's turned the ball over nine times in the first half and 15 times overall, although Temple only picked up 13 points off those giveaways.

History
This was two program's first meeting as members of separate conferences since the 1945-46 season.

The Owls and Hawks were members of the Middle Athletic Conference from 1946-47 to 1973-74, the East Coast Conference from 1974-75 to 1981-82 and the Atlantic 10 from 1982-83 to 2012-13.

Previous to St. Joe's current three-game winning streak, Temple had won the last 10 straight in the series, and St. Joe's the previous nine before that.

St. Joe's last win at the Liacouras Center came on Jan. 26, 2008, when Pat Calathes hit a game-winning three with 11 seconds to play. The Hawks proceeded to lose their next 10 straight to Temple and have now lost five in a row at the Apollo.

What's next?
St. Joe's plays the second half of a Big 5 back-to-back when it heads to the Pavilion on Saturday for a meeting with No. 14 Villanova at 6 p.m.

Also on Saturday, Temple heads down to the Wells Fargo Center for a noon tip with Texas.

Big 5 Hall of Fame inducts 'maybe the greatest class we've ever put together'

Big 5 Hall of Fame inducts 'maybe the greatest class we've ever put together'

About midway through Monday night's Big 5 Hall of Fame ceremony, the oldest inductee of this year's class paid homage to the youngest.

That's how much hoops legend George Raveling, a 1960 Villanova graduate, was blown away by Penn alum Ibrahim Jaaber's impassioned speech that ended with a powerful poem about how basketball saved him.

"It kept running through my mind that you represent everything good about sports," Raveling said to Jaaber. "And I hope you'll continue to use your wisdom, your influence, to make the game better, to make the world better. As a 79-year-old-man, soon to be 80 in June, I want to tell you that if I come back in the next life, I want to be like you."

That touching moment, in many ways, was a perfect encapsulation of the ties that bind the Big 5, from one generation to the next. But aside from Raveling and longtime Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Bill Lyon -- who, despite battling Alzheimer's, courageously gave an acceptance speech to a standing ovation at the Palestra -- this year's class was filled with contemporary guards who clashed in some great Big 5 games not too long ago.

Among them were two current NBA players in Saint Joseph's icon Jameer Nelson (class of 2004) and former 'Nova star Randy Foye (2006), as well as Temple's Lynn Greer (2002) and Jaaber (2007). La Salle women's player Carlene Hightower (2008) was the other member of the star-studded class defined by tough, gritty Philadelphia guards.

"The inductees here for the Hall of Fame have got to be maybe the greatest class we've ever put together," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who closed the night by accepting the Big 5 Coach of the Year award right after Josh Hart took home Player of the Year honors. "I grew up in Philadelphia and we always talk about what a great place the Palestra is -- and it is. But when you listen to Lynn, Randy, Coach Rav, Ibby, Jameer, you know why this is a great place. It's because of all the great man that have played here -- outstanding, humble, articulate, intelligent men that understand they're part of something that's bigger than themselves. That's what makes the Big 5. That's what makes the Palestra."

Nelson, the National Player of the Year during St. Joe’s historic 2003-04 season, certainly showed what kind of person he is, inviting all of his old Hawks teammates who were in attendance to stand behind him as he accepted his Hall of Fame award. And he even choked up at one point as he described what those teammates, coach Phil Martelli and Saint Joseph's University have meant to him as he's forged a long and fruitful NBA career.

"Without them, none of this would be possible," said Nelson, the Hawks' all-time leader in points (2,094) and assists (713). "These guys mean the world to me."

Nelson, now with the Denver Nuggets, just wrapped up his 13th season in the NBA, calling it an "unbelievable ride" for a 5-foot-11 kid from Chester. That's two more years spent in the league than Foye, who Nelson thanked for forcing him to be better back in their college days. He also called Greer one of his "great friends" and said that Jaaber's speech "touched me in so many different ways, I wish more young kids could hear it."

"I'm very grateful to be inducted with you guys," Nelson said, although he did point out that when he was at St. Joe's, the Hawks had Villanova down 43-9 at halftime one year. 

"But those next couple years, we payed y'all back," said Foye, now with the Brooklyn Nets, during his own speech.

Those rivalries were especially meaningful to Foye, who also played against Jaaber in both high school and college.

"Being from North Jersey, you never hear about the Big 5," said Foye, a first-team All-American and Big 5 Player of the Year in 2006. "For me coming here and witnessing it up close and personal, it's just something truly amazing."

Foye added that everywhere he goes, he tries to embody what a Philly guard is -- "small but play big," as he put it -- while reminding people that he's proud to be a Villanova alum. The same can be said of Raveling, a longtime college coach and executive who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

"I'm so proud to say I'm a Big 5 product -- and a proud graduate of Villanova University," Raveling said. "I look back many times and realize the wisest decision I ever made in my lifetime was to enroll at Villanova University."

Just as he opened his speech, Raveling also closed it by saying he was "proud" to enter the Big 5 Hall of Fame the same year as Jaaber, whose remarks touched on spirituality, family and a unique journey from Morocco to New Jersey to Penn.

Jaaber also made sure to thank the person who perhaps embodies the Big 5 more than anyone else: former La Salle player, former Penn coach and current Temple coach Fran Dunphy.

"I don't think I could have had a better coach for me in my situation than my Coach Dunphy," said Jaaber, the 2006-07 Big 5 Player of the Year and the all-time Ivy League leader in steals (303). "I'm almost embarrassed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame before Coach Dunphy."

Archbishop Wood basketball star Collin Gillespie signs with Villanova

Archbishop Wood basketball star Collin Gillespie signs with Villanova

Archbishop Wood's Collin Gillespie, the Philadelphia Catholic League's MVP, has signed a national letter of intent to attend Villanova and play for Jay Wright.

Gillespie, during his senior year, averaged 24.1 points per game. The 6-foot-2 guard lead Archbishop Wood to their first Catholic League title in school history and followed that up with a PIAA State Championship game victory -- also a first for the school. Along with the league MVP, Gillespie was named Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Daily News.

"We are excited to have Collin and his family join the Nova Nation," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "Collin comes from a great program at Archbishop Wood and has been well prepared by John Mosco. His guard skills, basketball IQ and winning instincts will be a welcome addition to our program."

Gillespie will join previously announced signees Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia) and Jermaine Samuels (Rivers School, Weston, Mass.) in Villanova's class of 2021.