Temple downs St. Joe's to reach A-10 semifinal

ATLANTIC CITY --  Despite one field goal from Dionte Christmas and a hobbled Lavoy Allen, Temple pinned its third defeat of the season on Saint Josephs with a 79-65 victory in a quarterfinal game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

The only field goal for Christmas came with a little less than 6 minutes left on a driving layup that gave the Owls a 65-48 lead.

Allen, who finished with nine points and 12 rebounds points, entered Boardwalk Hall before the game with a boot on his right ankle. He showed no sign of injury, though, during the game.

“He showed a lot of toughness playing today,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “I know a lot of kids who wouldn’t have played.”

With Christmas struggling and Allen hurt, Sergio Olmos (14), Ryan Brooks (19) and Semaj Inge (12) combined for 45 points

With the win, Temple improves to 24-2 all-time in A-10 quarterfinal games.

Seniors Ahmad Nivins and Tasheed Carr led the Hawks with 23 and 21 points, respectively. When coach Phil Martelli pulled them late in the game, both were overcome with emotion while on the bench during the final few seconds.

Fourth-seeded Temple (20-11) will now play top-seeded Xavier on Friday night at 6:30 in the first semifinal.

St. Joe’s (17-15) will now hope for an invitation to play in a postseason tournament.