Fifth time must be the charm.
Temple University defeated No. 3 Syracuse University, 83-79, at the prestigious Madison Square Garden during the Gotham Classic on Saturday, handing them their first loss of the season.
Giant killers! Temple cuts down undefeated No. 3 Syracuse 83-79 in the Garden behind career-best games from Wyatt and Lee.
— Temple University (@TempleUniv) December 22, 2012
Looking at Syracuse's losing effort, it was simple, the Owls played a better fundamental game for the entire contest. The Owl shot well from the free-throw line (29-for-36 for 80.6%) and got there early and often, which is where the Orange suffered (19-for-34 for 55.9%). Then it was the sheer will to hustle to the ball and make plays where the Orange didn't that led to the Owls victory at the Garden.
This now marks five straight years where Temple University Men's Basketball team has beaten at least one top ten nationally ranked opponent. After the disappointing loss to Canisius earlier in the season, it left Coach Fran Dunphy feeling like his team was coasting to easy wins. Well this earns the top spot so far as the biggest win of the season.
Temple now stands at 9-2 overall. Its only losses come from the aforementioned Canisius & No. 1 Duke University, but the team has now made a statement that it is one of the better teams in the country. Now this makes Temple a hungry team, and with a hard schedule to face before conference play this makes Temple a dangerous team.
The win came on the backs of two key players for the Owls, Khalif Wyatt & Anthony Lee. Wyatt has become a mini-icon in the city of Philadelphia for his stellar play against Duke University last season. The local player continues to be one of the most dangerous guards in the country, he tallied 33 points while slashing and shooting perfectly from the free throw line.
Khalif is not afraid.. You can apply that to many things -- of shooting, of refs, of talking.. Most of all, he's not afraid of big moments."
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) December 22, 2012
Forward Anthony Lee, has recently become a standout player for the Owls as well, finishing the game with double-double numbers (21 points & 11 rebounds). Lee's powerful display of post moves coupled with his height advantage, slowly silenced the Syracuse frontcourt.
When you think of the phrase "painting the town red," from now on just think Owls basketball at the Madison Square Garden. The ole' Cherry & White has never looked so good.