Saturday, December 20, 2014

Has Fran Dunphy's luck finally changed?

At long last, the basketball gods appear to have smiled upon the Big 5's most famous mustache.

Has Fran Dunphy's luck finally changed?

 
There's also a video report from Keith Pompey in the player at right.
 
For all of the many virtues Fran Dunphy has acquired over the course of his 400-win career, there has always been one significant mark on the negative side of his coaching ledger. Both at Penn and Temple, Dunphy's teams have displayed a stunning and at times maddening inability to finish off close games.
 
At long last, though, the basketball gods appear to have smiled upon the Big 5's most famous mustache.
 
On Sunday night against Maryland, Temple guard Khalif Wyatt picked off an inbounds pass and stuck a layup after Maryland had cut the Owls' lead to three points.
 
Last night against Georgetown, Hoyas forward Hollis Thompson clanged a wide-open floater in the lane off the front rim. Temple got the rebound, and thus was able to hold on for a second signature win in as many games.
 
The adage that you make your own luck was certainly proven by Wyatt; the adage that basketball gods exist was a more likely explanation for Thompson's inexplicable miss.
 
Nontheless, the result in both cases for the same: a win for Dunphy and Temple. That doesn't mean the inbounds passes will be stolen again in March, or that the open floaders will hit the rim. But it does mean that Owls fans have good reason to be happy today.
 
They certainly threw a party at the Liacouras Center last night. Maybe it was the 9:00 p.m. start, or maybe it was the visit of one of college basketball's most storied programs - and one which, like Temple, has long captured the imagination of a wide swath of fans in the city it calls home. 
 
Whatever the reason, the Owls' arena was rocking from before tipoff until the final buzzer. The crowd was announced as 9,509, and that number sounds pretty honest. 
 
On the court, Temple's stout man-to-man defense did its job on Georgetown stars Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. The Hoyas' marquee duo shot a combined 8-for-22 from the field, and 1-for-8 from three-point range.
 
As a team, Georgetown shot 21-48 from the field, including 5-for-16 from three-point range and 16-for-32 from two-point range. The Hoyas committed a total of 17 turnovers, many of which were forced by the Owls.
 
But both teams were pretty efficient. Temple averaged 1.037 points per possession and Georgetown averaged 0.994 points per possession. 
 
On the whole, the game was pretty tight throughout, and very entertaining to watch. A win like this, as well as Sunday's over Maryland, will pay a lot of dividents down the road as the Hoyas and Terrapins head off to conference play in the Big East and ACC.
 
And if Ramone Moore continues to play as well as he did last night, then this coming March may well be the time when Dunphy's luck turns once and for all.

Lines of the Game

Ramone Moore, Temple

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
R. Moore
38
12-18
4-4
2-2
1
3
4
1
2
4
0
3
26
30



Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
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