Each of the previous two Decembers, Temple's basketball team had knocked off a previously unbeaten Top 10 team at the Liacouras Center.

In 2008, it was eighth-ranked Tennessee that came to North Philly and lost by 16 points.

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And a year ago it was No. 3 Villanova that went down, this time by 10.

It had become sort of an early holiday present. And it's the kind of gift that can keep on giving, all the way to Selection Sunday.

Last night, it was unbeaten, No. 9 Georgetown's turn to get into the spirit.

Temple, 68-65. Storm the Court! And a tradition unlike many others continued.

This was some big-boy hoops, on ESPN. Thirteen months earlier, the Hoyas beat Temple by one in Washington, on a late field goal.

The Owls were coming off a three-point win over Maryland on Sunday in the nation's capital. They'd started the season in the Top 25. This won't hurt their chances of getting back in it.

It was fifth-year coach Fran Dunphy's 400th win, the first 310 of which came at Penn starting in 1989.

Junior guard Ramone Moore went off, finishing with 30 points, six more than his former career best.

Temple (6-2) never trailed. The Hoyas (8-1) pulled even at 56, with 6:13 to go.

But Moore hit a three-pointer, his last basket, and the Owls would lead by five with just over 2 minutes left. Georgetown cut it to one at 46.8 seconds on a layup by big man Julian Vaughn. The Hoyas got the ball back when Juan Fernandez missed a long three with the shot clock winding down. Georgetown came down and got a good look inside, but Hollis Thompson got too close to the basket and could only hit iron. The ball went downcourt to Rahlir Jefferson, who was fouled and made both ends of a one-and-one at 2.3.

The best the Hoyas could do was get it in to Austin Freeman, whose prayer from halfcourt didn't come close to getting answered.

The Owls, who scored the first six points, took a 39-32 lead at halftime.

It was a two-point game after 9 minutes, but they gradually extended the margin to as much as 11 with 2:57 showing. The Hoyas, playing their first true road game since an opening three-pointer at Old Dominion, would score seven of the next nine. But Moore tipped one back in just before the buzzer.

At that point he had 17, five above his average and already a season-high, on 8-for-9 shooting. The Owls, who came in shooting 43 percent, were 15-for-28.

Free throws

Temple freshman forward Anthony Lee, who had yet to play, will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and will be out an extended amount of time . . . Prior to the game, there was a moment of silence for Temple alum Phil Jasner, the longtime Daily News' basketball writer who passed away Friday. On Wednesday he'd been similarly honored before the Villanova-Penn game at the Palestra.