by Ray Floriani
LYNDHURST, NJ - A heartbreaker for Temple and Atlantic Ten fans in general. A continuation of a magical journey for the Aztecs. San Diego state defeated Temple 71-64 in two overtimes to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The numbers:
|San Diego State||71||100|
* Inside play was a major point in deciding this contest. Temple managed only 37% (19 of 52 ) from two point range. San Diego State, especially in the second OT, defended the lane very well. Granted, there were some easy shots missed by Temple during the game but the Aztecs did reject six Owl shots. The 6-9 Malcolm Thomas came up big for the Aztecs with 13 points,9 boards and 4 blocks. Ramone Moore scored 17 points but was the only player who shot the ball (7 of 12 from the floor) reasonably well for Fran Dunphy's club. Both teams had TO rates under the 20% mark. Temple checked in at 15%. San Diego State was 18%. Not very high but a few of their 13 miscues were of the type that could have cost them the game.
greyCat Note -- A preseaon favorite for the A-10 Title, the Owls overcame injuries to keep the chances alive. Eliminated in the A-10 semi-finals by eventual champion Richmond, Temple nevertheless went on to break Coach Dunphy's winless run in the NCAA Tournament when they beat Penn State on Thursday. Despite the loss on Saturday, Temple finished with a 26-7 record on the season, and with nearly all players (except All-Conference Lavoy Allen) returning next season, can look forward to another successful Big 5 and A-10 season.