P.J. Walker gives Rhule, Temple reason to believe

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P.J. Walker gives Rhule, Temple reason to believe

Temple football finished the 2013 season with a forgettable 2-10 record. However, the occasional flashes left head coach Matt Rhule with reason to look forward to 2014.

At the American Athletic Conference's media day in Newport, R.I. on Monday, Rhule indicated that one of the biggest reasons to be excited is quarterback P.J. Walker.

“I think his best days are certainly ahead of him,” Rhule said on ESPN’s telecast of the American’s media day.

Walker threw for over 2,000 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games during his freshman campaign. He also showed the ability to tuck the ball and run, accumulating 332 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

“I think the biggest thing for P.J. -- and it’s why I really like coaching him -- is he doesn’t want to just be a statistics guy,” Rhule said. “He’s proud of what he did last year, but I think he wants to be more than that.”

After concluding the season with a 41-21 win over Memphis and a 387-total-yard, four-score performance from Walker as high notes, Rhule has plenty reason to believe in his young quarterback.

“The ultimate statistic for that position is whether you win or not,” Rhule said. “I think you saw a little bit in the Memphis game, one of the reasons that we won that game was when he got outside the pocket, instead of trying to win it all on one play, he threw the ball away. He checked the ball down, and he realized, ‘I have a lot of good players around me, let me let them win the game.’

“That only comes with experience. That only comes with some hard losses sometimes.”

Despite having 10 losses, Temple was not simply rolling over for opponents. Last year, the Owls lost six games by one score or less.

Temple was selected to finish eighth in the 11-team American in 2014, while Cincinnati was named the favorite with 17 of a possible 30 first-place votes.

“I think the biggest thing is last year was painful at times, but what it did was it really spurred our kids forward,” Rhule said. “They recognize now what it takes to win.

“As we move forward into this season, we’re excited because we know we can compete and we know we can hang in there. Now we just have to make the plays at the end.”

La Salle tops George Washington behind Jordan Price's big night

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La Salle tops George Washington behind Jordan Price's big night

Jordan Price scored 23 points with seven rebounds, five assists and two steals and La Salle defeated George Washington 79-69 on Sunday.

B.J. Johnson had 14 points and Cleon Roberts added 13 for the Explorers (10-5, 4-1 Atlantic 10), who won their fourth straight.

La Salle, which never trailed, shot 68 percent in the first half, making 6 of 9 threes and 15 of 22 overall, to take a 40-30 lead.

George Washington scored the first six points out of the break and trailed 51-46 with 11:37 to play. Pookie Powell's three and Price's three-point play started an 8-0 surge and 19-3 run that made it 70-49 at the 6:29 mark. Johnson, Price and Powell hit consecutive threes.

The Explorers finished 24 of 44 (61 percent), 11 of 17 from long distance and 14 of 15 from the foul line. It was the first time they shot better than 60 percent since March 20, 2013. Price was 9 of 11 with four threes.

Jair Bolden led the Colonials (9-9, 1-4) with 16 points and Yuta Watanabe and Tyler Cavanaugh had 13 apiece.

College Hoops Wrap: Temple loses to Tulsa in final seconds

College Hoops Wrap: Temple loses to Tulsa in final seconds

No. 3 Villanova captured a nice road win against St. John's despite tough shooting outings from Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins (see full story). St. Joe's struggled with turnovers in a loss to Richmond (see full story). Here's a look at how the rest of the City 6 teams fared on Saturday.

Temple falls to Tulsa in final seconds
Junior Etou scored 15 points, Sterling Taplin hit a runner for the win with three seconds left and Tulsa edged Temple 70-68 despite a career-high 25 points by the Owls' Shizz Alston Jr. on Saturday.

Neither team had a lead larger than eight points, but the Golden Hurricane (9-7, 3-1 American) outscored Temple 11-3 over the final six minutes. Taplin's runner with three seconds to play broke a 68-68 tie and Tulsa held on after Alston's desperation 3-pointer missed as time ran out.

Taplin also had five of his team's eight steals, as Tulsa scored 16 points on 14 Temple turnovers. The Golden Hurricane outscored Temple 32-22 on points in the paint, despite being outrebounded 30-26.

Alston scored his 25 on 10-for-20 shooting with five 3-pointers. Obi Enechionyia added 15 points and Daniel Dingle 14 with eight boards and four assists for Temple (10-9, 1-5).

Drexel earns first CAA win by beating rival Delaware 76-60
Rodney Williams scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting and Drexel pulled away to defeat archrival Delaware 76-60 on Saturday.

Austin Williams added with 14 points, Miles Overton had 13, and Sammy Mojica finished one point shy of a triple-double with nine points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists for the Dragons (7-11, 1-4 Colonial Athletic Association).

Anthony Mosely led all scorers with 18 points for Delaware (7-12, 0-6), which shot only 34 percent overall and 19 percent from 3-point range.

Drexel built an 11-point halftime lead and held a double-figure advantage throughout the second half. Williams scored a dunk and Austin Williams hit a jumper to spark an 8-0 Dragons' run to open the second which gave them a 45-26 lead. It was Drexel's largest lead of the afternoon.

The game was the 155th meeting between the two schools dating back to the 1911-12 season.

Brown clamps down, beats Penn 82-70
Brandon Anderson scored 21 points, Steven Spieth added 20 on 7-of-9 shooting, and Brown got its first Ivy League victory with an 82-70 win over Penn on Saturday night.

Brown (10-8, 1-1) led 36-31 at halftime, but Penn cut it to 62-60 with 7:43 left to play before the Bears' defense clamped down. Penn missed its next seven shots, and JR Hobbie's 3-pointer for the Bears capped an 11-2 run and gave Brown a 73-62 lead with 2:14 left.

Penn (6-8, 0-3) wouldn't get any closer the rest of the way.

The Bears shot 24 of 26 from the free-throw line, including 10-of-11 and 6-of-6 efforts from Anderson and Spieth, respectively.

Matt Howard led the Quakers with 20 points, Darnell Foreman added 19 and AJ Brodeur 12.

Spieth is the younger brother of PGA Tour golfer and two-time major winner Jordan Spieth.