Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Best" and "Worst" awards: Temple vs. Detroit

My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 83-78 victory over Detroit on Thursday at the Liacouras Center:

"Best" and "Worst" awards: Temple vs. Detroit

Khalif Wyatt scored 12 of his team’s final 14 points to win the game for Temple. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Khalif Wyatt scored 12 of his team’s final 14 points to win the game for Temple. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 83-78 victory over Detroit on Thursday at the Liacouras Center: 

Best performance:  I had to give this to Khalif Wyatt even though he missed his first eight shots and was held scoreless in the first half. The Temple guard scored 12 of his team’s final 14 points to win the game. He finished with a team-high 20 points. With the Owls trailing by three, he made two three pointers to give them a 77-74 advantage with 1 minute, 4 seconds left. In addition to making four of his final six shots, Wyatt was 9-for-10 from the line. He also had a team-high seven assists, two steals and three turnovers in 32 minutes.

Worst performance: Until he heated up, Wyatt was the leading candidate to receive this award. But in the end, Ugochukwu Njoku got the honor. The Detroit reserve center committed three fouls and a turnover in nine minutes. The junior did not attempt a shot.

Best defensive performance:  This award goes to Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson for the second consecutive game. Temple’s undersized power forward finished with a game-high three steals while constantly providing a defensive presence. The senior also finished with 12 rebounds – eight defensive – in addition to scoring 13 points.

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Best performance by a Titans: Ray McCallum Jr. had to get this one. The junior point guard showed why he was a McDonald’s All American in high school, finishing with a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists. McCallum, whose father Ray McCallum is Detroit’s coach, scored 16 of his points in the second half.

Worst statistic:  This goes to Detroit’s turnovers. The Titans turned the ball over 15 times nine in the first half.

 Best statistic: This goes to Temple reserve Jake O’Brien’s shooting performance. The 6-foot-9 forward made all six of his shot attempts en route to scoring 16 points His hot shooting enabled him to score in double-digits for the fourth-consecutive game.

Worst of the Worst: This had to go to Temple’s attendance. There were only 4,452 on hand to watch what turned out to be a thrilling matchup. Remember how electric the Liacouras was on Feb. 21 against La Salle? A week later the arena felt like being in a morgue until late in the game.

About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
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