Wyatt sparks Temple to 78-73 win over No. 5 Duke

Wyatt sparks Temple to 78-73 win over No. 5 Duke

Credit: AP

Duke's Austin Rivers, left, and Temple's Khalif Wyatt chase a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

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by Dan Gelston

AP

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 10:06 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Khalif Wyatt scored 22 points and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had 17 to help Temple knock off No. 5 Duke 78-73 on Wednesday night.

Using tough man-to-man defense that limited Duke's long-range shots, the Owls (10-3) grabbed the lead midway through the first half and never let it go. When the Blue Devils (12-2) crept within three points in the waning minutes, Wyatt hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 66-57 lead.

The Owls had lost nine straight times to Duke, and hadn't beat the Blue Devils since Jan. 25, 1996. This decisive win in front of more than 20,000 fans gave the Owls wins over Top 10 teams for the fourth straight season, all in Philadelphia.

Mason Plumlee had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils.

Temple fans stormed the court in celebration and lingered long after the final buzzer.

The Blue Devils lost for the first time since a Nov. 29 game at Ohio State.

Anthony Lee scored 13 points and Aaron Brown added 11 for the Owls.

Under coach Fran Dunphy, the Owls have made a knack out of upsetting some of the better programs. They beat No. 8 Tennessee in 2008, No. 3 Villanova in 2009, No. 10 Georgetown last season, and, now, Coach K and the Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils looked little like the team stormed off to one of the best starts under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The Owls shot 59.3 percent in the first half and led by only two points in front of 20,420, the third-largest crowd for a college game in Wells Fargo Center history.

Ramone Moore and Wyatt buried consecutive 3s midway through the second half for a 10-point lead. The Blue Devils missed a series of looks around the basket and never got in gear from 3-point range in this Big 5 vs Top 5 matchup.

The Owls kept it at their pace and avoided the costly turnovers down the stretch that could have sparked Duke back into this one.

Everyone took a turn for the unselfish Owls, with five players scoring baskets in one stretch that preserved the lead at 60-54.

Duke had the size advantage and towered over a Temple lineup that often featured four guards. But they hustled for loose balls, took away the 3, and shot a sizzling 57 percent from the field.

Temple students chanted "Over-rated!" in the final minutes and several thousand fans stormed the court and partied for the program's first ever win at the home of the NBA's 76ers. 

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