Temple's Khalif Wyatt looks to shoot after driving past Syracuse's Brandon Triche, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Gotham Classic tournament at Madison Square Garden, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, in New York. (Jason Decrow/AP)
AMHERST, Mass. -- My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 83-82 victory over Massachusetts Saturday night at the Mullins Center:
Best performance: I’m tired of giving this award to Khalif Wyatt. Honestly, I am. But I just can’t see myself giving it to anyone else after he made six three-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points. That why the 6-foot-4 guard wins it for the fourth consecutive time. Seventeen of Wyatt’s points came after intermission. Not bad, considering he missed his first four shot attempts.
Worst performance: This was a tough one, because it was such a well-played game. However, I gave it to Raphiael Putney, because he couldn’t make a bucket. The 6-foot-9 forward missed both of his field-goal attempts en route scoring two points. That came two nights after he scored 19 in a loss at Virginia Commonwealth.
Best defensive performance: Cady Lalanne gets this award. The Minutemen’s reserve center finished with a game-high four blocked shots to go with a steal. He also had a game-high 12 rebounds – 10 defensive – in 33 minutes.
Worst defensive play: I had to give this to Anthony Lee’s lack of effort on a dunk. The Owls center didn’t even attempt to stop Maxie Esho’s dunk on the final play of the first half. I really respect Lee’s game. But that was bad.
Best performance by a Minuteman: Some could argue that Freddie Riley deserves this award for making five three-pointers en route to his team-high 17 points. But I had to give it to Chaz Williams. The 5-9 point guard finished with 16 points, a game-high 13 assists, six rebounds and a steal.
Worst statistic: Temple only scored six second-chance points. Yet, they gave up 17. Talk about a mismatch.
Best statistic: This award goes to UMass’s 42 points in the paint.
Worst of the Worst: Temple’s first-half defense against Lalanne. The 6-9, 250-pounder scored 14 first-half points on 7-for-9 shooting. He was unstoppable.
Best of the Best: Temple’s second-half defense against Lalanne. He was held scoreless after intermission when the Owls placed a defending in front of him. Lalanne was unable getting the ball. And when he did, he missed his two second-half shot attempts.