NEW YORK – My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 83-79 victory over third-ranked Syracuse on Saturday at Madison Square Garden:
Best performance: Any person if his right mind knows Khalif Wyatt is the runaway winner of this award. The Temple shooting guard snapped out of a slump by scoring a career-high 33 points. Twenty of the 6-foot-4 senior’s points came before intermission. Wyatt also went a perfect 15 for 15 from the foul line while finishing with four assists and three rebounds.
Worst performance: This has to go to Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams. The sophomore point guard struggled from the field, shooting 3 for 17 overall and 0 for 5 on three-pointers. He finished with a misleading 13 points to go with a game-high six assists. Carter-Williams also had a game-high three turnovers.
Best defensive performance: Temple’s Anthony Lee gets this award after blocking two shots. The 6-foot-9 center altered several other shots and held Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas (Academy of the New Church product) to four points.
Best performance in a losing effort: Syracuse forward C.J. Fair deserves this award after recording a team-high 25 points, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking a shot. The Baltimore native was extremely efficient, making 8 of 12 field goals and shooting 8 for 8 from the foul line.
Worst statistic: This award goes to the Orange’s free-throw shooting. Syracuse made just 19 of 34 foul shots. Take away Fair’s effort, the Orange were a miserable 11 for 26 from the foul line.
Best statistic: This award goes to Temple’s free-throw shooting. The Owls made 29 of 36 free throws to shoot 80.6 percent from the foul line.
Best of the Best: The Madison Square Garden atmosphere. While it wasn’t a sellout, the 12,648 in attendance created an electric ambiance. It had the feel of an NCAA tournament game – not a nonconference tilt in December.