NCAA

Instant Replay: Notre Dame 24, Temple 20

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Instant Replay: Notre Dame 24, Temple 20

BOX SCORE

Temple nearly knocked off another legendary football program.

The 21st-ranked Owls were minutes away from upsetting No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field on national TV, but they couldn’t get one final stop.

Roman Catholic product and Irish wide receiver Will Fuller’s 17-yard touchdown reception with 2:09 left in the game sent Notre Dame to a 24-20 win over Temple.

Notre Dame improves to 7-1 on the season, while Temple falls to 7-1.

The Owls opened this historic season by upsetting another storied program in Penn State. 

Turning point
With Temple leading, 20-17, with 4:45 left to play, Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer connected on a seven-yard pass to Fuller on a 3rd-and-5 at the ND 31.

On the next play, Kizer hit tight end Alize Jones for a 45-yard gain, putting the Irish in the red zone. Two plays later, Fuller sent the Irish to their seventh win.

On 2nd-and-10 on the TU 17, Kizer connected on a 17-yard TD pass to Fuller. Fuller had been relatively quiet coming into the final drive but came up with two big grabs.

Fuller finished with five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Big men on campus
Temple’s defense repeatedly came through with a huge stop.

Two first-half red-zone interceptions prevented Notre Dame from jumping out to a big lead, and then in the third quarter, the Owls stiffened in the red zone and held the Irish to a field goal.

Defensive lineman Praise Martin-Oguike had TU’s first interception, while linebacker Tyler Matakevich had the second. Matakevich’s was his fifth of the season.

Given that Note Dame entered the game averaging 38.3 points per contest, it was an impressive showing from the Owls.

For Notre Dame, quarterback DeShone Kizer burned the Owls’ defense on the ground. The sophomore had 143 yards on 17 carries, including a 79-yard touchdown run.

Kizer was 23 of 36 for 299 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

Inside the box score
• ND’s opening-drive TD was the first TU has allowed this season on the opening drive.

• TU’s eight-play, 94-yard TD drive in the second quarter was its longest of the season.

• TU quarterback P.J. Walker finished 13 of 30 for 188 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Walker added 38 yards on six rushes.

• The announced attendance of 69,280 at the Linc is a Temple record for a home game.

History
Saturday was the second meeting between Temple and Notre Dame. The Irish have won both games. The two teams met in South Bend two years ago, a 28-6 ND win.

Temple falls to 5-101-1 against AP-ranked teams and 1-42 against top 10 opponents.

What’s next?
Temple heads to Dallas, Texas, on Friday night for an 8 p.m. game against SMU.

Up next for the Irish is a 12 p.m. kickoff against Pittsburgh. The Panthers were ranked No. 23, but will drop out of the top 25 after losing to North Carolina on Thursday night.

Saint Joseph's comeback bid comes up short vs. Florida

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Saint Joseph's comeback bid comes up short vs. Florida

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Keyontae Johnson saw Florida’s big lead shrink to almost nothing in the final minute. He made sure his teammates didn’t let this one get away from the Gators.

Johnson had a career-high 22 points to lead the Gators to a 70-62 victory over Saint Joseph’s at the Charleston Classic, playing without ejected leading scorer Kerry Blackshear Jr. on Thursday. Not that it came easily as Florida (3-2) saw its 18-point lead cut to 64-62 in the final minute.

“We just communicated, told everyone to stay together,” Johnson said. “We stayed locked in.”

The focus proved the difference as Florida hit six foul shots down the stretch while Saint Joseph’s missed two shots and committed a pair of turnovers.

“Down the stretch, I thought we showed a tremendous toughness,” Florida coach Mike White said.

The Gators needed it with Blackshear missing almost all of the game. He played three minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls. Then he was thrown out when he was battling underneath and his elbow looked like it hit Saint Joseph’s guard Taylor Funk. Blackshear, who came in averaging 14 points and 12 boards, was called for a flagrant two foul and sent off the court.

Blackshear’s departure seemed to energize the Hawks (2-3), who trailed 43-27 when the Florida star left the court. That’s when St. Joseph’s went on a 29-16 spurt to cut it to three points on Funk’s basket with six minutes left.

But Johnson followed with a basket and Andrew Nembhard made another to extend the lead.

St. Joseph’s had one last charge, slicing things to 64-62 on Ryan Daly’s layup in the final minute. The Hawks had several chances to tighten things, but could not. “We’re not going to go down easy,” Daly said.

Florida will take on Miami here Friday for a spot in the Charleston Classic finals.

The Hawks face Missouri State on Friday.

Johnson also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Nembhard added 16 points.

Florida took control quickly and appeared to make this a runaway as Noah Locke had two 3-pointers and Nembhard also hit one from behind the arc as the Gators went ahead 11-2 less than two minutes in and steadily built its lead.

St. Joseph’s had hit 34 first-half 3s combined its first four games. It made just one of its 14 long-range attempts this time as it fell behind.

Daly led the Hawks with 25 points.

Swider scores 26, No. 17 Villanova routs MTSU 98-69

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Swider scores 26, No. 17 Villanova routs MTSU 98-69

CONWAY, S.C. -- It’s been awhile since No. 17 Villanova shot this well from long range. Cole Swider has never scored like this.

Swider scored a career-high 26 points with six 3-pointers, and the Wildcats routed Middle Tennessee 98-69 on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

Collin Gillespie added 16 points and hit four 3s, Justin Moore finished with 15 points and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 11 rebounds to help Villanova (3-1) - which never trailed, led by 35 and shot 57% while winning its second straight following a 25-point loss at No. 10 Ohio State.

And yet, another number in the box score caught coach Jay Wright’s eye - Swider’s seven rebounds.

“He’s more than just a shooter,” Wright said.

And the Wildcats have plenty of those. They made 18 3s - one shy of the school record, and their most since they also had 18 in a victory over Kansas at the 2018 Final Four.

“They have elite size with great shooters,” Middle Tennessee coach Nick McDevitt said, “and any short close-out or decent close-out results in three points.”

Eleven of them came during a first-half barrage that pushed the lead well into the 20s. Swider hit his fifth 3 from the corner shortly before the buzzer to put the Wildcats up 53-28 at halftime.

Saddiq Bey then took the lead to 30 with a 3-pointer two minutes into the second half.

Donovan Sims scored 18 points and C.J. Jones had 16 for the Blue Raiders (3-2). Leading scorer Antonio Green, averaging 23.5 points going into the game, finished with four points on 1-of-7 shooting while dealing with foul trouble.

“They’ve got a lot of interchangeable parts, so they were switching just to never let him see space,” McDevitt said.