OXFORD, Ohio - Temple's basketball team kept up the pressure on defense, holding Miami (Ohio) to six first-half field goals, and then took advantage on the other end on its way to a 64-42 victory last night.
The Owls, who have won three straight games, entered having allowed an average of 54.2 points. Seven of their nine opponents have been held to 56 points or fewer.
"We are very pleased to come here and get a victory," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "I always think that the [Mid-Amerian Conference] games are very difficult, especially very difficult on the road. I thought we were ready to play early, and defended throughout."
The RedHawks (2-6) held an early 6-5 lead, but Temple scored the next 25 points. They took a 30-6 lead with 7 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the first half on a jumper by Lavoy Allen.
Allen scored the first two baskets of the run and also hit a jumper for a 16-6 lead with 11:50 left. He finished with 15 points for the game, on 7-for-9 shooting.
Luis Guzman hit a four three-pointers during the run, including three in a row.
He finished with 12 points in the game, on 4-for-8 shooting.
"We got a real good effort out of Luis Guzman," Dunphy said. "He goes for four threes in the first, and gave us the separation we needed.
"I thought everyone stepped up defensively. For us, it was a good defensive effort, but for us, it was also a good offensive night."
After halftime, Miami tried to regain some momentum with five unanswered points, but Owls sophomore Juan Fernandez (10 points, four assists) scored five straight on his own, including a trey.
With the shot clock winding down, Fernandez slipped a bounce pass to Allen for a dunk at 9:05 in the second, extending the lead to 52-29.
Two late threes from junior Craig Williams and another from sophomore Scootie Randall gave Temple 11 on the night, a season high, in 23 attempts.
"No question, there were a couple big plays when Miami could have made a run," Dunphy said. "Juan Fernandez made a big three on the wing and made a nice drive to the basket, and Craig Williams made two threes in the second. It was enough took keep the separation and we withstood the run that Miami was attempting to make."
Temple (7-2) shot 25-for-56 for the night, including making a season high 11 three-pointers in 23 attempts.
The also made sure to take care of the ball, with only one turnover in the first half and five for the game.
The Owls are off to their best start since they went 7-2 in the 1994-95 season.
The RedHawks had only two players in double figures. Nick Winbush and Kenny Hayes had 10 points each; Winbush added 10 rebounds for Miami.
The Owls' next game will be 3 p.m. Sunday at the Liacouras Center against No. 3 Villanova. *