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:
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.
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