Turnovers, poor 3-point shooting hurt Temple in loss to Missouri

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Turnovers, poor 3-point shooting hurt Temple in loss to Missouri

BOX SCORE 

PHILADELPHIA — For Dru Smith and Missouri, it’s been hard not to dwell on a stunning home loss to Charleston Southern earlier this week.

Only thing to do was take it out on the next team on the schedule.

Javon Pickett scored a season-high 16 points off the bench and Missouri snapped a three-game losing streak, beating Temple 64-54 on Saturday night.

Smith added 12 points and six rebounds for the visiting Tigers (5-4), whose loss to Charleston Southern on Tuesday was one of the worst of coach Cuonzo Martin’s tenure.

“Obviously it’s been on our minds,” Smith said. “It’s something we had to learn from. We had to move on. There’s a lot of season left in front of us. I think we did a good job today using that as fuel and coming out and playing much better.”

Quinton Rose led the way for Temple (6-2) with 16 points, 10 of which came in the first half. The Owls committed a season-high 19 turnovers, including an overthrown pass in transition with a minute to go to dash any comeback hopes. They also shot 2 for 21 from 3-point range.

“They didn’t really pressure us; we were just careless with the ball,” Rose said. “Maybe it is a lack of focus. We’ll figure it out.”

Trailing by six early in the second half, the Owls reeled off the next 12 points to take their first lead since they were up 4-2. The run began with a Monty Scott 3-pointer and included a Jake Forrester dunk that electrified a previously frustrated Liacouras Center crowd.

Forrester, an Indiana transfer who had to sit out the first four games until getting cleared to play by the NCAA, finished with 11 points in his first home game for the Owls.

Pickett helped Missouri fight back to tie the game at 47-47 with eight minutes remaining, and the Tigers took the lead 53-52 on a Jeremiah Tillman transition dunk with four minutes to go. Mark Smith’s 3-pointer put the Tigers ahead 57-52 with 2:53 left, and Xavier Pinson helped close out the win with a driving layup in the final minute.

The Tigers outscored the Owls 15-2 over the final six-and-a-half minutes.

“I think we’re as good as any team in the SEC,” Martin said. “But you have to do it on the floor every night. It’s one thing for me to believe it. They have to understand and believe it. And this was a great win for us against a very talented team.”

Temple had more turnovers (11) than made field goals (eight) in the first half to fall behind 33-27 at halftime. No one on the Owls besides Rose scored until Forrester hit a free throw more than eight minutes into the contest.

Can't open the Pickett fence 

Martin credited Pickett for putting the defensive clamps on Rose, Temple’s top scorer, in the second half.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if he spends 10 years in the NBA,” the Missouri coach said of Rose. “And I thought Javon really embraced that challenge. He’s not an easy guy to defend.”

Martin also praised the energy Pickett brings off the bench, which is a role the sophomore says has helped him.

“I feel more relaxed,” said Pickett, who started 31 games as a freshman last season. “Coach all the time is telling me to be myself. I feel like I’m starting to be myself more.”

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Missouri: The Tigers avoided the slow starts that had been plaguing them, leading for most of the first half before staging their winning rally midway through the second half. They also scored a measure of revenge on an Owls squad that beat them in a thriller last year at Mizzou Arena, 79-77.

Temple: Despite Saturday’s setback, the Owls are showing promise under first-year coach Aaron McKie, who replaced Fran Dunphy. Their only losses have come to power conference teams, No. 3 Maryland and now Missouri, while they’ve beaten another Southeastern Conference squad, Texas A&M, and also Southern California on the road.

Up next 

Missouri: The Tigers return home to face Southern Illinois on Dec. 15.

Temple: The Owls host Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday in one of Philadelphia’s most intense rivalry games.

Penn makes it 2 Big 5 teams in the NCAA Tourney

Penn makes it 2 Big 5 teams in the NCAA Tourney

Darnell Foreman scored 19 points, AJ Brodeur had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Penn earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2007 with a 68-65 win over Harvard in the Ivy League Tournament title game Sunday.

Ryan Betley added 17 points for the Quakers (24-8), who will be making their 24th appearance in the NCAAs.

Senior Caleb Wood, a junior college transfer, drilled two straight 3-pointers, getting fouled on the second, to put Penn ahead 63-60 with 3:42 remaining. Betley followed with a 3-point play, before Harvard's Christian Juzang pulled the Crimson to 66-63 with a 3-pointer with 47.6 seconds to go.

Harvard trimmed Penn's lead to 66-65 on two Justin Bassey foul shots with 14.6 seconds left. But after Betley hit two free throws, Bassey and Juzang both missed potentially game-tying threes in the final seconds, and Penn fans stormed the court for a celebration a decade in the making.

Chris Lewis led Harvard (18-13) with 16 points, while Bassey had 15 and Seth Towns, the league's player of the year, finished with 13.

Harvard and Penn proved to be the top two teams in the Ivies this year after sharing the regular-season title with 12-2 conference records and then dominating Cornell and Yale, respectively, in Saturday's Ivy League Tournament semifinal games.

And after splitting their two regular-season meetings, both teams traded punches like heavyweight fighters in front of a packed crowd at the Palestra, Penn's home gym.

Fueled by a 16-0 run in which Penn was held scoreless for seven minutes, Harvard led 30-17 with five minutes left in the first half. That's when the Quakers turned things around, closing the first half on a 17-2 run capped by a Foreman 3-pointer right before the buzzer. Foreman, who sprinted right into the locker room as the Palestra crowd went wild, scored his 19 points all in the first half.

The Quakers continued to surge after the break, with sophomore standouts Brodeur and Betley combining to score the first 11 points of the first half to put the Quakers ahead 45-32 and complete a 28-2 run spanning halves.

Trailing by 10 midway through the second half, Harvard reeled off a 13-0 run to take a 58-55 lead, sparked by 3-point plays from Bassey and Juzang.

Once a staple of the NCAA Tournament, Penn went to the tourney seven times between 1999 and 2007 before falling on hard times, due in large part to the rise of Harvard.

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Harvard: Despite Sunday's result, the Crimson continue to be the class of the Ivies with Tommy Amaker at the helm, having won six Ivy League championships since 2011 with NCAA Tournament wins in 2013 and 2014.

Penn: The Quakers have made a speedy turnaround under third-year coach Steve Donahue. And with only two key players graduating and several underclassmen returning from injury, they should be poised to remain at the top of the Ivies next season and beyond.

Up next
Harvard receives an automatic berth in the NIT by virtue of its top seed in the Ivies.

Penn is headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Philly fans party like never before after Super Bowl victory

Philly fans party like never before after Super Bowl victory

The rain and hail that pelted Philadelphia for much of the day dissipated just as people across the city spilled out of sports bars, apartments and houses.

They all had one destination: Broad Street.

It was time for a celebration 58 years in the making.

On Sunday night, just as Nick Foles led the Eagles to a surprise Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in Minneapolis, the scene more than 1,000 miles away in Philly was jubilation and pandemonium.

Fireworks were set off. Car horns blared. And Philadelphians young and old descended on Broad Street, the iconic thoroughfare that will soon host a parade to commemorate the city's first major pro sports championship since the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.

"The city deserved it," said 66-year-old Lou Potel, who threw a party at his home just off Broad before joining a much bigger party outside. "It's a great city, and now we have a Super Bowl to go along with it."

Like so many other fans, Potel's love for the Eagles has been passed down from generation to generation. He went to the Super Bowl with his son the last time the Eagles played in the title game in 2004, and said that watching Sunday's championship with his son "made up for it."

Dustin Seidman, 42, and his wife Staci, 41, decided to bring their 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter to the festivities on Broad Street, even as drunken fans sprayed beer and climbed trash trucks, street poles and awnings. Social media video showed the awning outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel collapsing with more than a dozen people on it, but it was unclear if there were any injuries.

There were many other young kids on Broad Street, with parents weaving strollers between people and cars and some even holding infants in carriers. One youngster rode a scooter while wearing an Eagles helmet.

"We wouldn't miss this," Dustin Seidman said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

As his son then asked to keep walking north to City Hall, he added: "Does life get any better than this?"

For Staci Seidman, the thought of her late grandfather, a die-hard Eagles fan, immediately crossed her mind when the game ended. She wasn't alone.

Rick Campitelli, 63, who came into the city to watch the game with his son, said he wished his father-in-law could have been alive to see this moment.

"This is the greatest," said Campitelli, wearing the jersey of Wilbert Montgomery, the former Eagles running back to whom he once sold insurance. "I was hoping they would do it before I died, and they did it."

The scene in Boston was far more somber as fans inside the Banshee Bar had to come to terms with a rare loss for Tom Brady. Some, however, took it in stride.

"I've got nothing to complain about," Boston resident Bill Crowley said. "It's the greatest dynasty in NFL history and this loss tonight doesn't change that.

"They'll be back," Conor Hobert added. "One hundred percent, they'll be back."

Sam Murphy, 40, actually made the trip from Boston to Philadelphia, flying in Sunday morning before planning to fly back for work Monday. The longtime Eagles fan and Boston resident joked he couldn't be within 100 miles of his home, instead deciding to watch the game with his old University of Pennsylvania roommate Rob Ballenger, 41, at Grace Tavern, near 23rd and South Streets.

While standing in the back of the packed bar, Murphy drank Newbolds in honor of his father-in-law Ron Skubecz, who loved that beer and who once gave his children a football signed by Eagles legend Chuck Bednarik. Skubecz, a lifelong Eagles fan, died just three weeks ago, making Sunday's championship even more emotional for Murphy.

"This is Philly at its best," said Murphy, as he, Ballenger and hundreds of other new friends paraded down South Street to get to the party on Broad. "This team is what Philly is all about."