Owls storm back to beat George Washington

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Temple's Khalif Wyatt finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Owls to their first conference win. (Photo: Mark Jordan)

Temple’s Khalif Wyatt finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Owls to their first conference win. (Photo: Mark Jordan)

Anthony Bellino (@Bellino_Anthony)

Temple came into their Atlantic Ten Conference game against George Washington averaging 69.1 points per game; at the half against the Colonials the Owls had just 18 points.

Temple (12-4, 2-1) was able to come from 10 points down at the half for a 55-53 victory over George Washington. Senior guard Khalif Wyatt scored a game high 18 points but struggled from the field going 5-of-18 on the evening. Wyatt’s play improved drastically from the first half to the second, in the first the senior scored just five points and was 1-of-7 from the field. In the second half Wyatt started looking for his teammates and turned his defense up a notch. Wyatt ended the night with both four assists and four steals.

Much like with Wyatt It was a tale of two halves for the Owls as a whole. In the first half temple was 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) from the field and 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) from three-point range. Temple was outrebounded 19-13 in the first half and committed seven turnovers to George Washington’s five. The second half was a completely different story the Owls shot 48.1 percent (13-27), out-rebounded the Colonials (18-15) and forced more turnovers than they committed (6-5). This all led to Temple hanging on to a two-point victory Wednesday night.

Temple coach Fran Dunphy made a change to his starting lineup, inserting senior forward Jake O’Brien in the power forward slot which is usually occupied by senior Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson. O’Brien provided a boost knocking down jump shots from the high post when George Washington was playing a zone defense. O’Brien scored 10 points on 4-of-6 from the field before fouling out in the second half.

Hollis-Jefferson played 32 minutes in his first game coming off the bench this season, he scored seven points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, blocked two shots and added two steals on the evening. Hollis-Jefferson does a little bit of everything for the Owls and these are the types of performances Temple fans have become accustomed to from the 6-foot-6 senior.

Sophomore Anthony Lee, playing his first game since being named Big 5 player of the week, scored seven points and recorded six rebounds. Lee only got to the free-throw line twice on the night; he was second on the team with 61 free throw attempts before the game.

Temple will return home to play St. Bonaventure Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. St. Bonaventure squared off against Xavier tonight and came into that contest on a five-game losing streak.

Noteworthy News: Senior Scootie Randall continued to struggle to find his offensive game. Randall scored just four points on 2-of-5 from the field. Randall has only been in double figures scoring twice in his last six contests.

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