Moore, Allen lead No. 24 Temple over Fordham

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Moore, Allen lead No. 24 Temple over Fordham

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Updated: 10:20 p.m.

By Dave Zangaro
CSNPhilly.com

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As quickly as Temple built a huge halftime lead, it watched it all but disappear.Fordham outscored Temple by 15 in the first six minutes of the second half and cut the lead to just three after the Owls went into halftime with an 18-point advantage.Following the Rams run, the Owls scored the next nine points and No. 24 Temple was able to hold on for the 77-66 win in an Atlantic 10 battle in its first game since returning to the AP Top 25After shooting 42.9 percent from the field in the first half, Temple shot a frigid 24.2 percent in the second, while Fordham made 51.7 percent of its second-half shots. We missed shots, they made shots, but I think we relied on what the score was at the half, said forward Scootie Randall. I think they dont have nothing to lose, so they're just going to come out here and play every possession.With the win, Temple improved to 18-5 overall and 8-2 in the A-10. Fordham dropped to 6-16 overall and 0-10 in the A-10. The Owls have now won their last 19 games at the Liacouras Center and have won all 11 contests played on their home court this season. The Owls led by as much as 25 points in the first half, but with 13:17 remaining in the second, their lead was 53-50.The Rams had all the momentum, but one play turned it back in the other direction. With just over 10 minutes remaining, Ramone Moore found Randall for an easy layup, which sparked a 9-0 run for the Owls. I think that play was big for our team because we werent doing so good coming out in the second half, so I think that play right there made a statement that we were ready to go, Randall said. "I think it helped our team a lot and gave us a boost.Moore led the Owls with 22 points on 7-for17 shooting and Randall chipped in 12 on 4-for-14 shooting. Chris Gaston paced the Rams with 27.Temple senior Lavoy Allen finished with seven points and 14 rebounds 10 offensive and is now only 17 rebounds shy of setting the all-time Temple mark. Allen, however, had to leave the game with just under 4 minutes remaining after twisting his left ankle while going after a loose ball.Coach Fran Dunphy called it a sprain and said the severity of the injury and Allens playing status for Saturdays game at Dayton (17-7, 5-4) is unknown. Hopefully he can play Saturday we need him, Moore said. But if he cant were just going to have to go without him unfortunately. It was actually a turnover early in the second half only 18 seconds in by Allen that Dunphy pointed to as the momentary turning point.The turnover says Were going to be OK if I turn this ball over, and its a message we cant afford to send, he said.
While the Owls spent most of the second half in damage-control mode, the first half was a breeze.Early on, Fordham couldnt find a way to stop the Temple offense. At the 7:39 mark in the first half, Temples Rahlir Jefferson was driving to the basket one-on-one, when he was pushed by Fordhams Alberto Estwick. It was called an intentional foul. Jefferson hit both free throws.Jeffersons free throws came on the tail end of a four-minute span where Temple held the Rams scoreless. In that span the Owls outscored their opponent 16-0 and led the Rams 47-29 at the half. They came out playing zone so there was a lot of open jump shots. We did a great job of moving the ball and getting open shots for each other, said Moore, who had 14 of his 22 at the half.Forward Micheal Eric started the game and scored 12 points in the first half in 16 minutes, but in the second half saw only four minutes of action and Jefferson took the bulk of the minutes. Dunphy said he wanted to matchup with the speed of Fordham better. Rahlir gave us more energy, getting to spots faster, Dunphy said. I thought Rahlir played very well.Guard Juan Fernandez started his third straight game after missing four of his previous eight with a bone bruise on his left knee, but still showed signs of rust. He scored 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting. He did, however, make a three-pointer late in the second half and nailed four free throws down the stretch."We got a sprained ankle Allen. We got a bad knee Fernandez, Dunphy said. Learn to live with it. Suck it up and play.The Owls won the game and stretched their win streak to four games, but the team will remember this one as the game that almost got away.Were not good enough to have those stretches of games were we dont focus on each possession, Dunphy said. Now they know.E-mail Dave Zangaro at dzangaro@comcastsportsnet.com

Freshman A.J. Brodeur leads Penn to 29-point rout of Lafayette

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Associated Press

Freshman A.J. Brodeur leads Penn to 29-point rout of Lafayette

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Steve Donahue has been coaching long enough to know there are always doubts as to how players adjust to the college game.

But as he heavily recruited A.J. Brodeur, the Penn coach began to realize he was looking at as close to a sure thing as there can be. 

So far, he’s been right.

On Wednesday at the Palestra, the Penn freshman continued his torrid start to his college career, exploding for 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lift the Quakers to an 81-52 rout of Lafayette.

“I’ve known A.J. since 9th grade,” Donahue said. “I probably saw 100 to 200 of his games. And I was pretty sure we were getting a really good basketball player that was going to fit and really help us build this program.”

Brodeur was actually relatively quiet in the first half, scoring six points as he dealt with Lafayette double-teams. And the Leopards, who never led, pulled within one at 24-23 near the end of the first half.

But the 6-foot-8 forward helped key a 10-0 spurt with two buckets to help the Quakers gain a comfortable nine-point halftime cushion, before accounting for half of the team’s points during a 16-0 second-half run that put things away.

For the game, Brodeur shot 10 for 13 for the field while Lafayette center Matt Klinewski, one of the Leopards’ top players, shot 1 for 10 and finished with four points.

“He’s so much bigger than us,” said Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon, who was an assistant at Penn alongside Donahue in the early 1990s. “Matt couldn’t really handle him.”

A lot of players have struggled to handle Brodeur so far this season, no matter the competition level. Just this past Saturday, the Penn freshman scored 17 points against Temple while outdueling Owls star Obi Enechionyia for much of the way.

But although he’s hit double figures in six of his first seven games, including a career-high 23 in his collegiate debut vs. Robert Morris, Brodeur isn’t entirely satisfied yet.

“I’m definitely happy with the way I’ve been playing,” Brodeur said. “Obviously there’s always room for improvement. My game is still not where I want it to be or where I need it to be for us to be a championship team this year.”

Whether or not Penn (3-4) can contend for an Ivy League championship remains to be seen, but it certainly is promising that all three of their wins have been by lopsided margins — something that rarely happened under previous coach Jerome Allen. 

And the Quakers showcased a lot of balance and defensive tenacity against a young Leopards team Wednesday, finishing with 21 assists and 10 steals with 11 different players scoring.

Guards Jackson Donahue and Jake Silpe, last year’s starting backcourt, combined for 23 points off the bench. And senior Matt Howard took over the game in the first half, skying for rebounds, getting his hands in the passing lane and, at one point, throwing down a ferocious one-handed dunk after starting the break with a steal.

Howard, who’s endured three straight losing seasons, finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists.

“He’s been through ups and downs for three years,” Donahue said. “I think he finally feels that he can really be the best player on the court and help us win games — which probably hasn’t happened before. I think that’s what you saw at the beginning of the game.”

Temple's Josh Brown returns to form, but defensive lapse costly in loss

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USA Today Images

Temple's Josh Brown returns to form, but defensive lapse costly in loss

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Josh Brown began looking like his old self on Wednesday night.

Temple’s senior guard missed the Owls' first six games while recovering from surgery he had on his Achilles tendon in May. He returned to the court one week ago in the Owls’ win at St. Joe’s. 

Brown showed some signs of rust in his first two games. He had four points and an assist against the Hawks in 14 minutes of action. On Saturday against Penn, Brown played 11 minutes and scored five points.

In Wednesday’s 66-63 loss to George Washington at the Liacouras Center, Brown played a season-high 24 minutes. He scored 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting and added one assist and made some key plays for the Owls down the stretch in the close loss (see Instant Replay).

“He played great,” coach Fran Dunphy said. “He didn’t play great against Penn. Tonight, he was ready to go. He did some really good things for us. It’s nice to have. It’s a nice comfort.”

Brown helped Temple close a large deficit late in the game. He hit a three-point shot from the corner on the fast break with 5:28 left to bring the Owls within three. He hit another three-point shot at the top of the key with 2:44 left to bring Temple within six. 

Less than a minute later, he assisted on a Daniel Dingle three, which made the score 61-58. On Temple’s next defensive possession, Brown grabbed a rebound before Dingle hit another three on the other end of the court to tie the game at 61 with 1:31 left.

With the Owls trailing by three on the game’s final possession, Brown almost drew a foul behind the three-point line before finding Dingle for another open look that hit the back of the rim.

“When I was out there, I was just trying to be in the moment, be in the now,” Brown said. “That’s what I was doing. I wasn’t thinking about anything else. When you do that, you’re focused, and when the shot comes, your preparation takes over.”

Despite his clutch play on the offensive end, Brown was critical of a mental lapse on defense during the game’s most crucial moment. After playing tight defense for almost all of the shot clock, Brown let George Washington forward Tyler Cavanaugh slip to the corner and put up a three-point shot with one second on the shot clock.

Cavanaugh’s three-point attempt with 8.2 seconds left in the game proved to be the game-winner on Wednesday night.

“I lost focus for a little bit,” Brown said. “I helped off for a slight second and that’s all he needed. I give props to that guy for hitting a tough shot, but I could’ve just stayed and not even helped.”

Wednesday’s loss ended a five-game winning streak for Temple, now 6-3 on the season. With defenses focusing on junior forward Obi Enechionyia, who scored 12 points against the Colonials, Brown will be looked at to steady the Owls' offense.

Brown was the only Temple player besides Enechionyia to score more than one basket in the first half as the Owls went into the break trailing 31-25.

“Him being out there, he adds intensity to the game,” Dingle said. “When he goes in the game, the energy goes up. Defensively and offensively he’s a general out there.”