Before a loud and raucous crowd at the storied Palestra, the Temple Owls beat the Maryland Terrapins 73-60 on Saturday afternoon. Combining balanced scoring and good outside shooting, Temple fashioned a hard fought victory in the matinee game which tipped just after 11am.
Temple got double figure scoring from Khalif Wyatt and Ramon Moore, both with 20 points, Juan Fernandez with 14 points, and Aaron Brown with 12 points. The only other Temple player to score was Anthony Lee who added 7 points. Wyatt led Temple in assists with 7, and Brown was the Owls leading rebounder with 8.
The Owls hit 9 of 22 three-point attempts (40.9%) including two triples after Maryland had closed the lead to 1 point, late in the second half. Fernandez was perfect from behind the arc, connecting on all three of his attempts.
Temple outscored Maryland by 3 points in the first half, taking a 32-29 lead into intermission. The Owls opened the second half with an 8 point run to build their lead to 40-29 on a bucket by Fernandez.
Temple expanded their lead to 12 on several occasions and it looked like they had taken control of the game. However, Maryland rallied and cut the margin to 1 point on a Terrell Stoglin bucket. The Terrapins had a chance to take the lead on the next possession but missed their shot and Moore scored for Temple who never relinquished the lead.
Temple scored the last 7 points of the game to give them the 13 point margin of victory, their largest lead of the day.
Michael Eric played for Temple for the first time since November 25th, after he missed thirteen games due to injury. He was greeted with a standing ovation from the Temple fans, played seven minutes, and missed his only field-goal attempt.
Maryland was led in scoring by Stoglin who dropped 20 points. Pe’Shon Howard added 15 points, and James Padgett chipped in 10. Sean Mosley pulled down 10 boards for Maryland and Nick Faust handed out 4 assists.
Maryland barely edged out Temple on the glass by a 28-27 margin. The Terrapins had twice as many turnovers (16) as assists (8). Temple, was the polar opposite, dishing out 20 assists to just 10 turnovers.
Temple was also stronger from the charity stripe, sinking 10 of 13 (76.9%). Maryland hit just 12 of 21 free-throws (57.1%).
Temple improved to 13-5 with the victory and 2-0 vs. the ACC this season (after an upset victory of Duke earlier this season). The Owls managed the double-digit win without a single point from Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson who was saddled with foul trouble in the first half and attempted just one field-goal for the game. The Owls next play at Charlotte on Wednesday evening.
With the loss, the shell-shocked Terrapins drop to 12-6. Their next game also comes on Wednesday when they host the #4 ranked Duke Blue Devils.