Temple has beaten two top-25 basketball teams, but facing No. 1 was an entirely different experience.

For the second straight year, the Owls played Villanova when the Wildcats were the nation's top team and the result was similar.

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The Owls fell, 78-57, to Villanova at the Pavilion on Tuesday after losing, 83-67, last year at the Liacouras Center.

Earlier this season on consecutive days, the Owls beat ranked teams Florida State and West Virginia, but these were the defending national champs, who look just as hungry as they did last March and April.

Villanova (11-0, 4-0) extended its Big Five winning streak to 18 games and earned a fourth straight City Series title.

Temple (7-4, 3-1) trailed by 29-16 at the half, scoring a season low in points for any half. At least the Owls won't face a team the rest of the way with this type of defensive intensity.

Villanova closed the first half on a 9-0 run. There was an 18-2 run in the second half that put the game away.

"They usually go on runs like that," said Temple forward Daniel Dingle, who scored eight of his 11 points in the first half. "I had an idea it would happen and tried to avoid it."

That's the problem with facing the Wildcats: It's hard to avoid it when they play the type of smothering defense that Temple witnessed.

The Wildcats' game plan was simple: Do their best to make life miserable for 6-foot-10 junior Obi Enechionyia, who entered the game averaging 18.6 points.

Enechionyia, who took just three first-half shots, finished with eight points, the first time he has been under double figures this season.

"I think he is one of the best players in the country, I really do," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We wanted to try to limit his touches and were very concerned about him."

Villanova switches on defense as well as any team in the country and the Wildcats also clog up passing lanes, especially when it concerns an accomplished shooter such as Enechionyia.

"They switch just about everything and they are not afraid if guards get stuck on bigs and vice versa," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.

Temple trailed by as many as 28 points in the second half, the first time, the Owls weren't in a game until the end. Their previous three losses were by a total of 11 points.

Dunphy was asked if this Big Five dominance was good for local basketball.

"It is what college basketball is all about," Dunphy said. "They have it going and it is up to the rest of us to figure it out."

At the moment, it's a lot to figure out.

@sjnard