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

BOX SCORE

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

NCAA Tournament wrap: UNC edges out Kentucky on Maye game-winner

NCAA Tournament wrap: UNC edges out Kentucky on Maye game-winner

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Luke Maye hit a jumper with 0.3 seconds left, and top-seeded North Carolina held off Kentucky 75-73 to earn the Tar Heels' second straight trip to the Final Four and 20th all-time in Sunday's showdown of college basketball's elite in the South Regional.

The Tar Heels (31-7) will play Midwest champ Oregon on Saturday in Phoenix in the national semifinal.

North Carolina took control with a 12-0 run within the final 5 minutes. Kentucky's freshmen De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk hit three quick 3s, the last two by Monk and his second with 7.2 seconds left tied it up at 73.

Theo Pinson brought the ball down, passed back to Maye. The sophomore from Huntersville, North Carolina, knocked it down for the win with his feet on the 3-point line.

The Wildcats had one last chance, but Derek Willis' inbound pass went out of bounds on the far end.

Kentucky (32-6) will miss out on the Final Four for the second straight year.

South Carolina beats Florida to reach first Final Four
NEW YORK -- It's only right that South Carolina's first trip to Final Four was earned through its defense.

A team known for a swarming zone used it effectively down the stretch to beat Florida 77-70 on Sunday and win the East Regional at Madison Square Garden.

Sindarius Thornwell scored 26 points for the seventh-seeded Gamecocks (26-10) against the fourth-seeded Gators (27-9) in the all-Southeastern Conference matchup.

South Carolina will face Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed from the West Regional, in the Final Four on Saturday at Glendale, Arizona.

"Gamecock Nation, we heard you loud and clear," coach Frank Martin roared as the team prepared to cut down the nets. "We'll see you in Phoenix."

The game was as close as expected until the final minute. There were 14 lead changes and 10 ties. The last lead change came on two free throws by Thornwell with 2:24 left that made it 65-63. Florida managed just three field goals over the final 3:55.

Thornwell, the regional MVP, followed the deciding free throws with a nice assist to Maik Kotsar for a 4-point lead. It seemed Thornwell, who scored eight straight points for the Gamecocks, was always where he needed to be including making a steal with 40 seconds left that turned into a 73-68 lead.

"I just made plays," Thornwell said. "Plays needed to be made down the stretch and I stepped up and made plays."

"Thornwell was just being Thornwell," Florida coach Mike White said of the SEC player of the year. "He's one of the best players in the country."

PJ Dozier added 17 points for the Gamecocks, Chris Silva had 13 and Kotsar 12.

It all totaled to a Final Four trip for Martin, he of the booming voice and terrifying faces.

Justin Leon had 18 points for the Gators who managed a 40-33 halftime lead on 7-for-12 shooting from 3-point range. But that was it. Florida was 0 for 14 from beyond the arc in the second half, a lot like the 0-for-17 effort the Gators had in their first meeting with South Carolina this season.

South Carolina, which forced Florida into 16 turnovers, finished 23 for 31 from the free throw line, including a 9-for-10 effort from Thornwell.

NCAA Tournament Wrap: Gonzaga reaches 1st Final Four; Oregon upsets Kansas

NCAA Tournament Wrap: Gonzaga reaches 1st Final Four; Oregon upsets Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tyler Dorsey poured in 27 points, Dillon Brooks added 17 and plucky Oregon ended Kansas' romp through the NCAA Tournament with a 74-60 victory Saturday night that gave the Ducks their first Final Four trip in nearly 80 years.

Dylan Ennis added 12 points for the Ducks (33-5), who took the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half and never trailed again, giving coach Dana Altman his first trip to the national semifinals.

They'll face the winner of Sunday's game between North Carolina and Kentucky in Glendale, Arizona.

Player of the year front-runner Frank Mason III had 21 points in his final game for the Jayhawks (31-5), who had rolled to the Elite Eight by an average margin of 30 points. But their dream season ended with a thud just 40 minutes from campus on a night where very little went right (see full recap).

Gonzaga beats Xavier to reach 1st Final Four
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points while orchestrating Gonzaga's efficient offense, and the Zags finally shook their overrated tag by routing Xavier 83-59 on Saturday to reach the Final Four for the first time.

Gonzaga (36-1) has been dogged by criticism through the years despite winning consistently, in part for playing in a weak conference but also for never making the Final Four.

On the cusp of history, the Zags took it head on with a superb all-around game to give coach Mark Few the one missing piece of his resume.

Gonzaga found the range from the perimeter after struggling the first three NCAA games, making 12 of 24 from 3-point range. The defense, a soft spot in the past, shut down the underdog and 11th-seeded Musketeers (24-14) to win the West Region.

The Zags will face the winner between South Carolina and Florida in next week's Final Four in Arizona (see full recap).