Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wrapping up Friday

I said this before the game and I'm more sure of it now: This was Fran Dunphy's biggest win in his three years as Temple coach.

Wrapping up Friday

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ATLANTIC CITY - I said this before the game and I'm more sure of it now.

This was Fran Dunphy's biggest win in his three years as Temple coach.

It wasn't pretty, to be sure, with both teams shooting 35 percent from the field. But there's no doubt that it was enthralling from start to finish. It seemed from our game chat that it came across that way on TV as well.

Simply put, Temple has knocked Xavier out of the Atlantic 10 tournament. Not St. Joe's, Dayton, Rhode Island or anyone else. This was Dunphy's team winning a game of wills against the conference's dominant power of recent years.

Need more be said?

Well, there is this much: the Owls must beat Duquesne tomorrow. The only way they could have had a shot at an at-large bid was to lose a really close game to Dayton and have a lot of other bubble teams across the country lose as well.

But the Dukes smashed the Flyers' NCAA Tournament dreams with a 77-58 win that was never close.

Full credit to Ron Everhart's team, which is in the Atlantic 10 Tournament final for the first time since 1981, but Dayton was thoroughly complicit in its own demise. Although both teams made 26 field goals, the Flyers missed 36 and the Dukes mised only 23. Dayton also committed 16 turnovers.

Does this make the final easier for Temple? The fact that Duquesne will be playing its fourth game in four days could have a big impact. But don't get too far into that trap, because the Dukes have played with real fire all week.

I'll be very interested to see what the turnout is by Temple fans at the final. When Dionte Christmas hit his second three-pointer in the game's final minutes, the roar was as loud as any I've ever heard in the three years the Atlantic 10 Tournament has been here at Boardwalk Hall.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug in our video player software at the moment so I don't have press conference highlights for you. Hopefully that will be fixed by tomorrow.

I do have full audio of all four press conferences though, and with better sound quality than the previous ones you've heard this week.

Okay, since I don't want to be the last person out of here tonight, I'll keep this short. Join me for live coverage of Duquesne-Temple at around 6 p.m. tomorrow.

Game 1: Dionte Christmas, Temple

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
D. Christmas
29
6-13
5-8
3-9
0
2
2
3
4
3
0
4
16
20


Game 2: Melquan Bolding, Duquesne

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
M. Bolding
40
8-11
1-2
7-10
0
6
6
1/div>
1
0
0
1
28
24



Staff Writer
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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 Staff Writer
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