Feb 21, 2011, 12:23 AM EDT
The Temple University Owls defeated the St. Joseph's University Hawks by a final score of 66-52 before a packed house of 10,206 at the Liacouras Center Sunday afternoon. The victory is the Owls' ninth straight over the Hawks and second this season.
The (official) Big 5 match up was an awesome sight for local basketball historians, featuring four Temple legends and one record-breaking performance by a soon-to-be-legend.
Starting from the top, Temple's fans were dealt their second injury blow in just four days when Junior forward Scootie Randall was unable to take the floor due to a foot injury sustained in the team's victory over Richmond Thursday night. OwlScoop.com's Mike Mudrick and Jeff Janiczek had reported Saturday that Randall could miss "anywhere from two games to two weeks with what is believed to be a fractured bone on the top of his foot." Catching up with Scootie before the game, he offered a wry smile and the update that he was merely "day-to-day." Head coach Fran Dunphy refused to speculate on Randall's status after the game, stating "If I told you my opinion, I'm sure I'd be wrong."
Now, I'm no doctor, but I have been told that apparently broken bones on the top of your foot are considerably less problematic than broken bones on the bottom of your foot. Either way, any length of absence for Randall is a huge blow to the Owls given his size, perimeter shooting and exceptional defense. His availability for the team's trip to Duke Wednesday night remains unclear. I should add that though Randall was somewhat optimistic about his recovery, Dunphy seemed far more cautious to comment, offering:
"I don't know what's going to happen with that, but we're going to try to see if he can still play basketball this year, but he's hurt," Dunphy said. "He's hurt, but he's a great guy and he's going to continue to work every with the trainers and doctors and see if he can get something out of it."
"We're going to try to see if he can still play basketball this year" is far from encouraging.
On a happier note, Senior power forward Lavoy Allen has become the new Temple University all-time leader in rebounds, surpassing the now-second place John Baum. Allen's 12-board day boosted him to 1,045 in his college career, three ahead of Baum's mark set in 1969. Allen was quick to admit in his usual modesty and amiable sense of humor that Baum achieved the mark in far fewer games than himself, just 86 as compared to Lavoy's 127. It's concessions like these that perfectly validate Dunphy's post-game characterization of Allen as, "the most unselfish player I've ever coached." Adding 14 points to his line, the double-double was Lavoy's sixth of the year, coming off a season in which he averaged 11 and 10. The Owls will need 14 and 12 and even more heading forward after the loss of Mike Eric to a season-ending knee injury.
In keeping with the theme of record breakers and legendary graduates like Baum, former Owls Aaron McKie, Rick Brunson and Eddie Jones were all on hand to take in the game to celebrate their induction to Temple Hall of Fame. Joined by coach John Chaney at halftime, the three were presented with commemorative plaques to honor their place in Temple lore (picture below). McKie, Brunson and Jones reside at 11th, 16th and 19th respectively on the list of Temple's all-time leading scorers.
Aside from Allen's double-double and the memory of awesome performances past in the case of the three aforementioned, back court starters Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore turned in two impressive displays of their own. Moore would tie St. Joseph's freshman Langston Galloway for a game-high 17, while Fernandez would finish with 12 points, 6 assists and 0 turnovers in 39 minutes of play. Juan has taken a major step forward in his last 3 games since struggling to return from a knee injury. In his last 3 games, he is averaging 13.7 points, 5.7 assists and, again, 0 turnovers.
- Langston Galloway has the potential to be an unbelievable talent for Joe's. He's already earned three A10 Rookie of the Week awards and should be well on his way to a fourth after dropping 17 and turning the ball over only once in a game-long 40 minutes against Temple. Alongside Jones and Aiken, St. Joe's has a solid young core of kids with the potential to rescue the programs from its current doldrums.
- Related to the above, Freshman center C.J. Aiken is currently second in the nation in blocks per game with 4.0
- Coach Phil Martelli was highly complimentary of his good friend Fran Dunphy after the game. "It's just as good as you can coach the game of basketball, Fran Dunphy and his staff do that. You know, there's going to be all this hoopla all weekend about this game and that game, but tell me a top-25 team that 19 assists and 23 baskets…That's beautiful basketball and that's coaching…He's as good as you can be in the whole country."
- Lavoy Allen on John Baum's support as he closed in on the record: "I think when I hurt my ankle [a few weeks ago] he might have smiled a little bit…"
- Sunday was Temple's first sell out of the year. The last came in January of 2010 in a loss to #1 Kansas. The Owls have won 21-straight on their own floor since that time.
- Aaron McKie, John Chaney, Eddie Jones, Rick Brunson and Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw at halftime:
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