College Hoops Thursday Recap: Moore Leads Temple

December 10th, 2010
Last night's game between #9 Georgetown and Temple was easier to watch than last season's meeting, a 46-45 Hoya victory in the nation's capital. A major reason for that, and also why Fran Dunphy picked up the 400th win of his coach career, was the play of junior guard Ramone Moore. With the concern for the visitors being whether or not they could compete up front with the likes of Lavoy Allen and Micheal Eric, Moore lit up Georgetown for 30 points in a 68-65 win that Temple never trailed in. Moore made 12 of 18 shots from the field on a night that saw Lavoy Allen and Juan Fernandez shoot a combined 4-for-17 from the field. Scootie Randall and Rahlir Jefferson scored ten points apiece to help make up for the stars' struggles, but it was all about Moore offensively.

Defensively Temple got the job done as well, not allowing the Hoyas to get into much of a rhythm offensively by forcing 17 turnovers and taking away the backdoor cuts that Georgetown likes to take advantage of. Those cuts can be a double-edged sword for teams defending Georgetown, as the need to stop them can lead to open three-point attempts. Temple did a good job there as well, being sure to challenge the Hoya shooters and as a result Georgetown made just five of sixteen attempts from beyond the arc. Jason Clark led Georgetown with 15 points but he was the only one of their triumvirate to shoot well from the field (5-7 FG). Austin Freeman scored fourteen points, making six of fifteen from the field, while Chris Wright was two for seven in scoring ten points.

Temple led 39-32 at the half thanks in large part to 13 points off of turnovers to Georgetown's six, and they also did a better job of scoring from two-point range. The Owls outscored Georgetown 24-14 in the first half in that department, aided by the fact that they shot 53.6% from the field overall. Temple, especially Moore, was able to find better shots throughout the course of the night despite shooting just 36% in the second half. For a team that struggled in its one marquee opportunity to date (1-2 record at the Old Spice Classic), this was a good non-conference win for the Owls to put on their resume. They'll have another just before the New Year when they take on Villanova and by then the hope would be that Allen and Fernandez are playing better offensively in regards to scoring. If so, Temple is the class of the Atlantic 10.

Other Notable Happenings

1. Xavier picks up a needed non-conference win over Butler.
Xavier capped a good night for the Atlantic 10, avenging last year's controversial loss at Butler with a 51-49 win at the Cintas Center. After a bad foul committed by Ronald Nored with just three seconds left on the clock, Mark Lyons made a pair of free throws to give the Musketeers the lead. And it stood as Shelvin Mack's three pointer missed to the left, giving Chris Mack's team a solid resume victory that they'd lacked to this point in the season. Matt Howard (17 points) and Shelvin Mack (15) led the way for Butler while Kenny Frease scored 12 points of the bench to lead the victors. Xavier's starting backcourt shot poorly from the field, as Lyons, Dante Jackson and Tu Holloway shot a combined 6-for-32 from the field. But thanks to a 40-29 rebounding edge and a 16-4 advantage in bench points the home team got the win.

2. Jared Sullinger was a man among boys for Ohio State.
Alex Young and the rest of the IUPUI Jaguars did a good job of hanging around with Ohio State last night, leading for much of the first half as well as parts of the second. But there was one answer they didn't have, and that was how to slow down freshman big man Jared Sullinger. Sullinger accounted for 40 of Ohio State's 75 points in the Buckeyes' 75-64 win over the Jaguars in Columbus. Sullinger set a school freshman scoring record in the process (Michael Redd scored 32), the first 40-point game for a Buckeye since Dennis Hopson in 1986. Sullinger, who was 12-for-17 from the field, made 16 of 23 foul shots as well (Ohio State as a team was 18-26 from the line) and grabbed 13 rebounds. Unfortunately for Ron Hunter's team, once Christian Siakam fouled out (13 minutes played due to fouls) they had nowhere else to turn. Alex Young (20 points) and LeRoy Nobles (16) led the way for IUPUI, who definitely has the look of a contender in the Summit League. But it's players like Sullinger who can go on to become a difference-maker in regards to who cuts down the nets in Houston, and there aren't many players like him in college basketball today.

3. Memphis will be without Wesley Witherspoon for a while.
Senior forward Wesley Witherspoon underwent surgery this morning for a meniscus tear in his right knee, and he's expected to miss five weeks as a result. According to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal the injury occurred in the Tigers' win over Northwestern State on November 17th but he attempted to play through it while being limited in practice. Now a young basketball team becomes even younger as Witherspoon was their lone experienced scoring option. What does this mean for Josh Pastner's team? They'd already been playing small with Witherspoon starting at the four, so who moves into that role? Do they go bigger and play two interior players up front? Or do you go even smaller in hopes of remaining with four solid scoring options on the floor? That's the question for Coach Pastner and his staff, with fans getting their first look at a possible solution when Memphis hosts Austin Peay on the 16th. So if there's any silver lining in the timing of Witherspoon's surgery it may be that they'll have more than a week in between games (thanks to finals) to tinker with the rotation.

Top Three Games

1. Temple 68, Georgetown 65

2. Xavier 51, Butler 49

3. La Salle 84, Boston University 81 The Terriers were unable to hold onto a 12 digit lead as the Explorers came back to win in Boston. Ruben Gillandeaux led La Salle, who takes on Big 5 rival Villanova on Sunday, with 21 points and Earl Pettis added 19. Darryl Partin led BU with 20.

Three Notable Performances

1. F Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) 40 points and 13 rebounds for the freshman in Ohio State's win over IUPUI.

2. G Ramone Moore (Temple) 30 points in the Owls' win over Georgetown.

3. F Ella Ellis (Army) 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Black Knights' 71-63 win at New Hampshire.