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Temple knocks off Maryland, 64-61

WASHINGTON - Temple is no longer consistently inconsistent.

Temple's Juan Fernandez (4) celebrates after Temple defeated Maryland 64-61. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo)
Temple's Juan Fernandez (4) celebrates after Temple defeated Maryland 64-61. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo)Read more

WASHINGTON - Temple is no longer consistently inconsistent.

The Owls shed that label Sunday night with a 64-61 victory over Maryland in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center.

That's because Temple (5-2) has won consecutive games for the first time since beating Seton Hall and Toledo to start the season. Before Sunday, it was win a pair, drop a game, win another, lose another, win one more.

The Terrapins (6-3), on the other hand, had their three-game winning streak snapped.

The Owls have a chance to sweep the two traditional D.C.-area powerhouses in a span of five days. Temple entertains No. 16 Georgetown on Thursday night at the Liacouras Center.

A triumph over the Hoyas would give Owls coach Fran Dunphy his 400th career victory. He has a 399-214 record over 22 seasons at Temple and Penn.

Junior shooting guard Ramone Moore led Temple with 16 points. Another junior, point guard Juan Fernandez, finished with 14 points and three assists. Senior power forward Lavoy Allen added 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 1 minute, 18 seconds to play.

Sophomore center Jordan Williams led Maryland with 17 points and 11 rebounds

Temple had a commanding 15-point lead early in the second half. Maryland fought back to tie the score at 56 with 11:49 to play.

Allen responded with a three-point play on the ensuing possession to give Temple a 59-56 lead. After the teams traded baskets, Moore hit a pair of foul shots with 17.6 seconds remaining to make it a 63-58 game. Maryland's Terrell Stoglin sank a three-pointer, but Moore hit a foul shot with 3.2 seconds left to seal it.

The Terrapins figured to be Temple's stiffest test of the season so far.

Sunday's game also featured two projected future NBA frontcourt players in Allen and Maryland's Williams.

Williams, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound center, was averaging 17.1 points and 11.8 rebounds, and he had six double-doubles in Maryland's first eight games.

Allen, a 6-9, 225-pound power forward, averaged 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in Temple's first six games.

Early on, both players had a tough time finding their grooves. Allen missed his first two shots, and Williams started 1 for 3 on attempts around the basket.

With those two misfiring, the game was sloppy at the start.

The squads combined to make only 4 of 20 field-goal attempts through the first 4 minutes, 49 seconds.

That was when Moore started to upstage the two big men. The 6-4 shooting guard scored nine of the Owls' 32 first-half points, all in clutch situations.

He hit a pair of free throws to give Temple a 6-4 advantage after a media time-out. About three minutes later, the Owls extended their lead to 10-6 on Allen's first basket.

Moore's foul shots 9:21 before intermission extended Temple's lead to 17-8, and his layup with 7:39 left in the half gave the Owls an 21-10 cushion.

Williams scored on a layup to close the gap to 21-14, and a putback dunk pulled Maryland within 24-19 4:45 before halftime.

But the Owls pushed their lead back to 11 at 30-19 when Allen sandwiched baskets around a Micheal Eric layup.

A long jumper by Scootie Randall gave Temple a 32-19 lead before Williams responded with a layup to cut it to 32-21 going into intermission.

The Terrapins shot just 29 percent (8 of 28) in the first half and committed nine turnovers.