Temple falls to No. 9 Villanova in Big 5 matchup

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm •  Published: February 1, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — On a day when Temple honored the two winningest coaches in school history, Fran Dunphy's Owls proved no match for a city rival.

James Bell scored 19 points and No. 9 Villanova pulled away from Temple 90-74 on Saturday.

Succinctly summing up the game, Dunphy said, "They defended well, and we struggled to score."

Before the matchup, Temple unveiled two statues at the Liacouras Center honoring Hall of Fame coaches Harry Litwack and John Chaney.

Litwack guided the Owls from 1952-1973, complied a 373-193 record, led the program to its only Final Four appearance and an NIT Championship. He was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1976.

Chaney took over in 1982, compiled a 516-253 record and took his team to 17 NCAA tournaments and five times to the final eight. He was inducted into the Hall in 2001.

Temple (6-14) missed out on a share of the Big 5 title and an opportunity to upset a Top 10 team for the sixth consecutive season. The Owls snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win over Rutgers on Wednesday, but have lost 11 of 13 overall.

The Wildcats finished 4-0 against their neighbors, beating Temple, Saint Joseph's, La Salle and Penn by a combined 90 points and winning each game by at least 16.

Villanova (19-2) has won the Big 5 title 22 times in school history. The only games the 'Cats have lost this season have been on the road at No. 2 Syracuse and at home to now-No. 20 Creighton.

"They all buy in," Dunphy said, referring to the Wildcats. "They all know their roles at both ends of the floor."

"It's that kind of knowledge of the game and that sense of who you are that puts Villanova in a different category," he said.

Even as the Owls were chasing Bell around the perimeter, he managed to finish 7 for 13 from the floor, including 5 for 10 on 3s.

"I thought there were a couple of 3s that were made that were guarded, especially with Bell," Dunphy said. "He's really a great catalyst for them. He was the guy that I was most concerned about."

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