Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim received the loudest ovation from the fans at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, some of whom arrived with signs...
NEW YORK — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim received the loudest ovation from the fans at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, some of whom arrived with signs and shirts celebrating his latest career accomplishment.
On Monday, Boeheim joined Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight as the only Division I men’s coaches to reach 900 victories. But on Saturday, Boeheim was in a less than festive mood. The No. 3 Orange breezed through its first 10 games of the season, winning all by no fewer than nine points, but Temple provided a more difficult test.
After falling behind by 10 points in the first half, the resilient Owls knocked off Syracuse 83-79 in the Gotham Classic.
Temple, which was stunned by Canisius on Wednesday, losing 72-62, grabbed 44 rebounds and made 29 of 36 free throws against Syracuse.
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“I don’t know that we would have won today if we had not lost Wednesday,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. “That game we got a little bit of a comeuppance. “
Guard Khalif Wyatt, a senior quietly emerging as one of the nation’s toughest offensive players, scored a career-high 33 points for Temple (9-2).
Wyatt hardly played his first year at Temple. Dunphy said he told him after that season to make a list of colleges he would consider transferring to.
“I was just trying to motivate him,” Dunphy said. “I didn’t really want him going anywhere.”
Wyatt responded by improving his work ethic. Last season, he finished fourth in scoring (17.1 points per game) in the Atlantic 10 conference.
Wyatt found his stroke at the right time Saturday. With his team trailing 31-26 with four minutes remaining in the first half, he scored 10 points to help Temple cut its deficit to 40-38.
In the second half, the Orange (10-1) went nearly five minutes without a field goal and fell behind by 51-42, its largest deficit this season. Still, Syracuse found ways to climb back. Center Baye Moussa Keita scored eight of his 12 points in the second half, while C.J. Fair finished with a team-high 25.
But Syracuse could not get over the hump. The Orange cut the deficit to 74-73 with 1:20 left, but missed shots by Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams allowed Temple to run down the clock.
Other Top 10
No. 5 Louisville 78,
W. Kentucky 55
In Nashville, Tenn., Russ Smith scored 20 points as Louisville (11-1) beat Western Kentucky (8-5) for its sixth straight win.
No. 9 Kansas 74,
at No. 7 Ohio State 66
Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore scored 22 points and Kansas proved it was more than just a bully at home by beating Ohio State.
It was the third victory for the Jayhawks (10-1) in little more than a year over the Buckeyes (9-2). Kansas won a 64-62 thriller in last year’s NCAA semifinals.
Kansas State 67,
No. 8 Florida 61
In Kansas City, Mo., Will Spradling had 16 points and five assists, including one that set up Shane Southwell’s three-pointer in the closing minutes, as Kansas State beat Florida.
Rodney McGruder added 13 points and Jordan Henriquez had nine points and five blocks for the Wildcats (9-2), who watched a 10-point halftime lead evaporate before clamping down against one of the nation’s top defensive teams and then pulling away in the final minutes.
Patric Young had 19 points for the Gators (8-2).
No. 12 Missouri 82,
No. 10 Illinois 73
In St. Louis, Laurence Bowers had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Missouri over Illinois in the annual Braggin’ Rights game.
Alex Oriakhi added 13 points and 14 rebounds as Missouri (10-1) won its fourth straight in the 32-year-old series. Jabari Brown had 18 points and Phil Pressey handed out 11 assists.
Brandon Paul led Illinois (12-1) with 23 points.