Instant Replay: Temple 82, La Salle 74

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Instant Replay: Temple 82, La Salle 74

BOX SCORE

So much for those one-point games.

Behind the best performance of senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson's college career, Temple cruised to an 82-74 win over La Salle at at the Liacouras Center Thursday night to claim a share of the Big 5 championship.

With both teams at 3-1 against the Big 5, Temple and La Salle will share the 2012-13 title. It's Temple's city-best 27th title dating back to 1955 and the third time in the last four seasons the Owls have won at least a share of the title.

For La Salle, it's just the first time the Explorers have won a share of the title since 1998. It would have been the program's first outright win since 1990, Lionel Simmons' senior year.

Instead, the Explorers fell to 18-7 overall and 8-4 in Atlantic 10 play, while Temple improved 18-8 and 7-5.

Turning point
What began as a tight game gave way to an 18-1 Temple run to close the first half, with the Owls ahead 39-25.

After leading 18-13, La Salle recorded just one field goal in the final 13 minutes of the half and one point in the final 7:54 on a Ramon Galloway foul shot with less than a minute remaining before the break. The Explorers opened 8 for 13 from the floor, and made only one of their next 15 attempts to finish the half 9 of 28 from the field and 2 of 9 from three.

Over the first five minutes of the second half, Temple actually stretched its lead to as much as 22 points. La Salle continued to chip away, cutting its deficit to as little as nine with 9:09 and 5:35 to play but never got any closer until the final buzzer. Sam Mills hit a three, Ramon Galloway stole the ball and hit a jumper as time expired to reduce the final margin to just eight.

B.M.O.C.
Hollis-Jefferson led all scorers and rebounders, setting two new career highs with 23 points and 17 rebounds for the fourth double-double of his college career. His nine field goals on 13 shots were also a season high.

In the race for the A-10 Player of the Year award, Temple's Khalif Wyatt bested Ramon Galloway with 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting. Galloway, by comparison, had no trouble getting to the rim, but just couldn't finish when he got there. He finished with an inefficient 14 points, going 7 of 9 from the line but a gross 3 of 14 from the floor.

Point guard Tyreek Duren led La Salle with 16 points.

Inside the box score
• Temple dominated the glass, out-rebounding La Salle 42-27 overall and 15-7 on the offensive end.

• Neither team shot well from three, going a combined 10 for 33.

• The Owls were also poor from the foul line, going 17 of 29 to La Salle's 15 of 19.

• Temple did, however, shoot 50 percent from the floor by game's end.

Next up
Both teams are off until Sunday afternoon. Temple will travel to Charlotte for a 4 p.m. meeting with the 49ers. Temple won the first meeting 89-88 at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 6. La Salle, meanwhile, heads north to Rhode Island for a 2 pm. tip with the Rams.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.

Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

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Josh Hart returning to Villanova for senior season

Villanova’s chances at repeating as national champions just got much better.

Josh Hart is returning for his senior season.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer from last season’s title-winning team tweeted this Tuesday night:

Shortly after, Villanova officially announced the news.

Hart was in the midst of going through the NBA draft process, attending the combine in Chicago and working out for teams. By not hiring an agent, he was able to test the waters without jeopardizing his final year of college eligibility. Hart had until Wednesday to make a decision, which is coming back to the defending champs.

“I enjoyed the process and learned a lot,” Hart said in a statement released by the school. “It was definitely worthwhile. I look forward to graduating next year and coming back to play with my teammates.”

As a junior, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. He put up 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Villanova’s 95-51 Final Four win over Oklahoma, before following it up with 12 points and eight rebounds in the national title game in which the Wildcats thrillingly won at the buzzer, 77-74, on a Kris Jenkins three-pointer.

Hart and Jenkins, the team’s two leading scorers, return along with key pieces Jalen Brunson (9.6 ppg), Phil Booth (7.0 ppg), Mikal Bridges (6.4 ppg) and Darryl Reynolds (4.5 rpg).

“Josh Hart did a great job in this process,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. “I’m really proud of the way that he showed himself. I am really happy for him that he is returning to play with his classmates and that he will graduate on time.” 

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

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National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

It's been nearly two months since Villanova won the National Championship in one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history.

Since then, the Wildcats have been honored by the city (parade), the New York Stock Exchange (opening bell), the Phillies (first pitch), the Flyers and the Union. Earlier this week, head coach Jay Wright addressed the Eagles.

But that will all pale in comparison to where the Wildcats will be next Tuesday, when they become the latest championship team to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. and will be streamed on www.whitehouse.gov/live.

In his pool, President Obama had Villanova finally advancing past the second round — "I know that eventually they're going to break through. They've had some bad luck over the last couple of years," Obama told ESPN.com — but had the Wildcats falling to Kansas in the regional semifinal.

He then had Kansas beating North Carolina to win the title.

After surviving the first weekend for the first time since their Final Four run in 2009, Villanova ousted Kansas, 64-59, before shocking Buddy Hield and Oklahoma in the national semifinal, winning by 44. The Wildcats then won one of the most memorable championship games in NCAA Tournament history when Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tar Heels, 77-74.