Temple defeats Maryland
Temple just might be an enigma. The Owls are hard to understand and even harder to explain. They looked vulnerable against some teams from the Atlantic Ten Conference and Colonial Athletic Association. Yet, Temple is invincible against the Atlantic Coast Conference. In what was Owls center Micheal Eric’s first game back from injury, Saturday morning's 73-60 victory over Maryland at the Palestra enabled Temple to sweep this season's two meetings against ACC opponents. The Owls (13-5) also defeated Duke on Jan. 4 at the Wells Fargo Center. Overall, the A-10 powerhouse is 3-1 against teams from power conferences. "I knew we were going to get the good Temple today," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, whose squad(12-6) lost its second consecutive game. "We saw how their guards played against Duke and how they played against La Salle. It's totally different. "Not taking anything away from La Salle. That's a big rival game. I understand that. Temple came to play today." Displaying an unselfish brand of basketball, the Owls backcourt of Khalif Wyatt, Ramone Moore, and Juan Fernandez combined to score 54 points and dish out 13 of Temple's 20 assists. Wyatt finished with 20 points, a career-high seven assists and five rebounds. Moore also had 20 points to go with four rebounds and an assist. And Fernandez had his second consecutive hot game, shooting 3 for 3 on three-pointers to finish with 14 points. The point guard also had five assists and a game-high three steals. "Me, Mone and Juan, we usually have the ball in our hands most of the game," Wyatt said. "When we are playing like we were today, we were making the extra pass and looking for looking for each other, we are hard to beat." Some might argue Temple will be even harder to beat once Eric gets back into game shape. The 6-foot-11 graduate student played seven minutes in a reserve role after missing the last 13 games with a fractured right kneecap. Eric missed his lone field-goal attempt and committed two fouls. Terrell Stoglin's jumper pulled Maryland within one point with 5 minutes, 26 seconds remaining. Over the next few minutes, the game turned into a three-point contest Wyatt and Moore hit three-pointers on the Owls next two possessions. Then after Stoglin answered with one, Fernandez nailed a three to give Temple a 66-59 cushion with 3:29 left. The Owls went on to outscore the Terrapins, 7-1, the rest of the way. "We have those guys that make pretty good decisions no matter who was in the game," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "And I thought each one of them stepped up and made big shots when the score got as tight as it did." Stoglin, a sophomore guard, led Maryland with 20 points. Reserve guard Aaron Brown (12 points) was Temple's other double-figure scorer.