ATHENS, OH - Fran Dunphy has a little bit of a problem courtesy of Rahlir Jefferson and Khalif Wyatt. It seems as though Temple's fifth-year head coach has seven players who are more than qualified to fill the starting lineup.
Coming off the bench, Jefferson scored a career-high 18 points while Wyatt added 14, also a career best, to lead the Owls past the Ohio Bobcats by a score of 76-65 on Wednesday night.
For the second game in a row Jefferson found himself as the beneficiary of Micheal Eric's vacated minutes due to foul trouble. Eric played roughly three minutes in the first half and 10 for the game. In his stead, the sophomore forward collected eight rebounds, three of which were of the offensive variety, and notched an assist and a steal.
Jefferson connected on 8 of his 9 shot attempts, which was good enough to raise his already staggering .658 shooting percentage. The Chester High product is emerging as one of the most efficient players in the A-10, maybe even the country.
Wyatt did most of his damage in the first half as he went 4 for 4 from behind the line for 12 points. The sophomore only hit 3 three-pointers this year before tonight's contest so the four trey outburst comes as a little bit of a surprise. It would be very beneficial to the Owls if Wyatt is able to find his long distance touch as it takes some of the pressure off of Juan Fernandez to be the team's main three-point threat.
Wyatt also added two more steals to his season total, further putting to bed the notion that he is not a capable Division I defender.
Ramone Moore continued his torrid stretch of play as he added 17 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists. It was the junior who iced the game from the line, connecting on three of four foul shots in the final 1:11 of regulation.
Juan Fernandez set a new personal best with nine assists one game after tying his previous benchmark (seven). He also had a career-high four steals to go along with seven points.
Lavoy Allen made his presence felt on the boards in his 39 minutes of run as his shot was not falling. The senior collected a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with his six points. One game after dominating Northern Illinois with a variety of post moves, Allen seemed to fall back into his habit of settling for 15-footers.
As a team, the Owls shot 50 percent (30 of 60) and outrebounded the Bobcats by a 37-33 margin. The free-throw line proved to be an adventure for the Cherry and White once again as they went 8 of 17 (47.1 percent) for the game.
The Bobcats were able to cut Temple's lead to six with 7:11 remaining thanks to a pair of DeVaughn Washington free throws but were unable to do any more damage as Allen and Jefferson hit back-to-back jumpers to push the lead back to double digits.
The Owls are off until next Thursday night when they face the Villanova Wildcats in a game that, for all intents and purposes, will decide this season's Big 5 champion.