To be the man you gotta beat the man, it was once said in an arena much different than the one where…
Better Late Than Never
The Owls overcame a 15-point second-half deficit to defeat the Colonials, 79-72, for their seventh straight win. Ramone Moore scored 25 points and Wyatt — who sat the first seven minutes after being late for a study hall session — finished with 22, including 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.
"I tried not to let (the benching) affect me, but maybe I did," said Wyatt. "I got warmer, my teammates encouraged me and I put it behind me.
"We started getting stops and that led to easy offense. We started slow, GW was playing real good, but we knew we were going to have a run and we made it."
Fernandez suffered a hip pointer — he is day-to-day — and sat out a little over the last six minutes of the game with T.J. Dileo contributing a big three-pointer and a couple steals in his place.
Temple maintained its hold on first place in the Atlantic 10 with an 18-5 overall mark and 7-2 league record. GW fell to 8-16, 3-7.
"GW deserved to win the game, we were very fortunate to win that," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "If you're going to have a good year, there are going to be games you have to get lucky and I think this was one. We were poor all the way around, somehow we found a way to win the game. ... The tide just turned and we made some huge shots."
It looked like a huge upset was brewing as the Colonials took a 41-29 lead into the half and they held a 10-point lead with 5:11 left in the game.
But Wyatt made two baskets and a free throw and DiLeo drained a three for his only basket of the game to make it 69-65 with 4:16 to play. Wyatt then stole the ball and hit a free throw, and a DiLeo steal led to a Wyatt jumper and one-point deficit.
"We can't live without T.J. DiLeo," said Dunphy. "He can play two minutes or 22, he's all about the team."
Moore's three-pointer with 2:53 put the Owls up, 71-69 and Wyatt tacked on four more points for a six-point advantage that capped a 13-0 run. GW's Lasan Kromah made a three with 17 seconds left to stop the run, but Temple finished the game at the free-throw line.
"I think getting (GW guard) Tony Taylor out of the game (with his fifth foul at the 5:46 mark) was big, we pressured their ball-handlers and got easy baskets," said Moore. "Games like this are going to occur sometimes. We didn't deserve to win, didn't play well, but made a couple plays to win it."
The Owls now turn their attention to a big matchup Saturday against Xavier, which has won at least a share of the A-10 regular-season title the last five years and is in the mix again this season.
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