Temple holds on, defeats La Salle in opener
Temple squandered a double-digit lead in regulation but was up to the task in the extra period. With sophomore point guard Shizz Alston being an overtime difference-maker at both ends of the court, Temple defeated La Salle, 97-92, in overtime in Friday's opening Big Five game for both teams.
Temple squandered a double-digit lead in regulation but was up to the task in the extra period.
With sophomore point guard Shizz Alston being an overtime difference-maker at both ends of the court, Temple defeated La Salle, 97-92, in overtime in Friday's opening Big Five game for both teams.
In overtime, Alston, a product of Haverford School, had seven points and two steals.
"I came to Temple for this exact moment, a Big Five Game on a Friday night. It doesn't get any better," Alston said.
Alston, who saw limited playing time last year, had 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and no turnovers in 39 minutes. Freshman guard Alani Moore had eight points and no turnovers in 30 minutes, while classmate Quinton Rose added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Temple had several other major contributors. Senior swingman Daniel Dingle scored a career high 21 points. Junior forward Obi Enechionyia added 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, while center Ernest Aflakpui had a career-high 12 points and tied his career high with 10 rebounds.
B.J. Johnson, the transfer from Syracuse, led La Salle with 23 points, while Jordan Price added 22.
"I don't think we played well, but Temple is good," said La Salle coach John Giannini. "They made shots, and our kids fought. But we have to get a lot better real fast."
In overtime, Alston's driving layup made it 88-85, and then he blocked a shot at the other end by Amar Stukes and got the rebound.
Dingle made it 90-85 with a left-handed turnaround hook inside. Alston then made a steal and scored on a layup, and the Owl led, 92-85, with 1 minute, 33 seconds left in overtime.
Later in overtime, Johnson scored on a follow of his own miss, and La Salle called timeout, down 93-90 with 7.5 seconds left.
Alston then hit two free throws with 5.8 seconds left.
In the second half, Temple led by as many as 10 points on three occasions, but La Salle kept chipping away.
Price tied the score at 81 with a three-pointer from the top of the key over the outstretched hand of Dingle with five seconds left in regulation. Alston's desperation shot at the buzzer was way off, and the teams headed for overtime.
"We weren't down at that point," Enechionyia said. "We were just more motivated to win the game."
Alston provided a motivational pep talk before the extra period.
"I bought the guys together and said, 'This is what we have worked for,' " Alston said. "I said, 'Stay together, and let's win for a second time.' "
And then he went out and led by example.
Notes. Temple junior point guard Isaiah Lewis, a transfer from Casper (Wy.) Junior College, was declared eligible by the NCAA on Friday. He didn't suit up due to an ankle injury. . . . La Salle didn't start either Price or Johnson, but Giannini said he went with the players who won the most scrimmages in practice. . . . Johnson ended up playing 40 minutes and Price 36. . . . One reason La Salle stayed in the game was the Explorers were 23 of 27 from the foul line, while Temple was 20-31.