Temple knew St. Joseph’s would be motivated.
The Owls knew Hawks guards Langston Galloway and Carl Jones had something to prove. And they knew Hagan Arena would be a tough place to play.
“We knew what to expect,” Temple guard Ramone Moore said after Saturday’s 82-72 Atlantic Ten and Big Five setback to St. Joe’s. “We knew those guys would come out fired up being as though they lost to us the first time.
“There’s a lot of different things that we can look back on and say why we lost.”
Statistically, things were even.
St. Joe’s (19-11, 9-6 A-10, 3-1 Big Five) had a 34-33 edge in rebuilding. The Hawks also shot 47.1 percent compared to 45.6 percent by the Owls (22-6, 11-3, 3-1).
Some Temple fans might argue that officiating was the difference.
That’s because Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, Micheal Eric, Khalif Wyatt, Juan Fernandez and Anthony Lee had four fouls each.
But to be honest, St. Joe’s appeared to want it more and outplayed Temple.
Like Moore said, the Owls knew what to expect. They knew it wouldn’t be easy. And they knew the Hawks wouldn't be intimidated by their No. 22 ranking.
In the end, St. Joe’s made the clutch plays that Temple was unable to convert.
Galloway (22 points) and Jones (18 points) outplayed the Owls guards. And St. Joe’s reserve forward Ronald Roberts (18 points, seven rebounds) was an unstoppable beast.
As a result, Temple suffered its first loss in 12 games. The Owls also failed to win a seventh outright Big Five title. And they will have to wait at least one more game to clinch the A-10 title.
“We can’t really look down on ourselves,” Moore said. “I mean this is our first loss in like two months.
“We just have to go back to the drawing board on Monday and watch the film, just to learn from our mistakes, just try to come out and finish our last two games with a W.”