Lavoy Allen finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds — despite not starting for violating a team rule — and Temple beat Saint Joseph’s last night to earn its 12th victory.
Ryan Brooks scored 13 points for the Owls (12-3) despite being a bit under the weather, and Michael Eric chipped in with a career-best 13 points. Sophomore starter Chris Prescott paced the Hawks (4-9) with eight points.
After 15 games, this much is known: Temple is ranked (No. 21/AP poll; No. 25/ESPN), for a reason. And the Owls win for a reason: defense.
Entering last night, they were allowing a stingy 56.4 points per game, fourth in the country. The Hawks scored just 46.
Without a legitimate star, coach Fran Dunphy’s players understand it must take a team effort.
Brooks leads in scoring (15.4 points), but he’s the first player you’ll see diving on the floor for a loose ball or taking a charge. And if you don’t do these little things, Dunphy will make a change.
The formula has worked thus far, and may land Temple in the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.