Monday, December 22, 2014

"Best' and "Worst' awards: Temple vs. Penn

My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 76-69 victory over Penn on Wednesday at the Liacouras Center:

"Best' and "Worst' awards: Temple vs. Penn

My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 76-69 victory over Penn on Wednesday at the Liacouras Center: 

Best performance: How could I not give this to Khalif Wyatt? The Temple guard scored 21 of his game-high 26 points after intermission. Wyatt scored 16 of the Owls' 18 points during one stretch. Then he went on a personal 5-0 run after his team trailed by 64-63 with 5 minutes, 46 seconds left. He hit a three-pointer to put the Owls ahead for good. His pair of foul shots gave them a 68-64 cushion with 5:05 left. If there was one flaw, it was his game-worst six turnovers.

Worst performance:  I had to give this award to Tony Hicks. The Penn reserve guard missed all seven of his field-goal attempts en route en being held scoreless. The Illinois native also had more turnovers (two) than assists (one) in 16 minutes of actions. Hicks, a freshman, came into the contest as the Quakers' second-active leading scorer at 7.2 points per game.

Best defensive performance:  Jake O’Brien gets this award. The Temple forward, who started in place of Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (knee injury), blocked two shots and had two steals in addition to finishing with 14 points.  While not known for being a lockdown man-to-man defender, O’Brien’s game-high blocks were hard to overlook.

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Best performance in a losing effort: This was a tough one, because Miles Cartwright, Darien Nelson-Henry and Patrick Lucas-Perry were all worthy. After a lot of thought, I opted to give it to Cartwright. The Penn guard had team highs of 21 points and six rebounds. Cartwright also had two steals and was perfect (7-for-7) from the foul line.

Worst statistic: You have to give this to Temple’s turnovers. The Owls gave the ball away 15 times.  Wyatt had six turnovers. O’Brien recorded three. Anthony Lee and Quenton DeCosey had two apiece, while Will Cummings and T.J. DiLeo each had one.

Best statistic: This award goes to the Quakers’ foul shooting. Penn shot 15-for-16 (93.8 percent) from the foul line.

Worst of the Worst:  This award goes to the Quakers’ performance down the stretch. Penn missed seven of its final eight shots while being outscored by 15-5 in the final 6:13.

Best of the Best: Temple’s halftime ceremony honoring Big Five Hall of Famer Al Shrier for his 60 years of service in Temple’s sport information department. A tribute video played before a banner fell from the rafters that read “Al Shrier … Athletics … 1953-.”  The 82-year-old retired 17 years ago, but he still shows up to work.

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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