Temple Hands 'Nova Its First Big Five Loss

ESPN Photo

Playing in front of 10,000 pumped-up fans at The Liacouras Center, Temple overcame a one-point halftime deficit to defeat the Wildcats 78-67. Maalik Wayns led the Cats with 23 points and 7 assists, but it was not enough to overcome an experienced Temple team that was led by 32 points from Ramone Moore.

Early on, it looked like it was going to be a big game for JayVaughn Pinkston, who scored 5 points in the opening 3 minutes. However, he was plagued by foul trouble and finished the game with only 8 points on 3-4 shooting. With Pinkston on the bench in the first half, Temple built an eight-point lead with just over 8 minutes to go in the half. However, Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek led a Wildcat surge, and the Cats went into the locker room at halftime with a 36-35 lead.

The game remained close for much of the second half, and was all knotted-up at 54-54 with 8:46 left to play. However, Temple then went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes, and ‘Nova could not get it closer than seven the rest of the way.

Dominic Cheek scored 10 points, but was only 3-8 from the field. Mouph Yarou finished with 14 points on 6-11 shooting and 8 rebounds. However, Mouph did most of his damage from 15 feet from the basket and never established a strong low-post presence against a smallish Temple team. Playing only 18 minutes against a Temple team that was missing its Center and Power Forward had a lot to do with that.

The Cats took fully one-third of their shots from beyond the arc, hitting an abysmal 3-20. One has to wonder why the long-ball is such a featured part of the offense of such a poor three point-shooting team. Villanova has been outshot by their opponents in three point percentage for the past five games.

Despite a significant size advantage, the Cats were outrebounded 36-34. The Cats turned the ball over 17 times vs. only 10 for Temple.

This post-game interview by Philahoops.com makes some interesting comments about Mouph Yarou and the Villanova fans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY9wHPSTHKg&

The Cats' next game is Tuesday vs. Boston University at Well Fargo Center. After 'Nova fans were a no-show at Madison Square Garden Tuesday and The Liacouras Center tonight, Wells Fargo Center may look mighty empty on Tuesday night on ESPN.

The results of our Closest to the Pin Contest are now posted. Click here to see our updated Leader Board.

Statsheet.com's Player Grades:

Nova Players Mins Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk TO
A Maalik Wayns 37 23 2 7 1 0 2
A Mouphtaou Yarou 19 14 8 0 0 1 2
B Markus Kennedy 14 4 6 0 2 0 3
C+ Dominic Cheek 32 10 5 0 0 0 2
C J. Pinkston 18 8 2 1 0 0 3
C Achraf Yacoubou 15 4 2 0 0 0 1
C- James Bell 31 4 3 0 0 1 2
D Darrun Hilliard 27 0 6 0 0 1 2
- Ty Johnson 7 0 0 1 0 0 0
TEMPLE Players Mins Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk TO
A+ Ramone Moore 34 32 6 2 0 0 2
A+ R. Hollis-Jeffersron 35 11 14 3 2 0 1
B+ Anthony Lee 27 6 9 1 0 2 1
B- Aaron Brown 19 7 1 0 0 0 0
B- Juan Fernandez 39 6 3 4 1 0 2
C+ Khalif Wyatt 32 13 2 0 1 0 4
C T.J. DiLeo 13 3 1 1 0 0
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