Published December 22, 2012
NEW YORK – Khalif Wyatt scored 33 points and Anthony Lee had 21 — both career highs — and Temple, despite not making a field goal over the final 5 1-2 minutes, upset No. 3 Syracuse 83-79 on Saturday in the Chevrolet Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Owls (9-2), coming off a 10-point home loss to Canisius, used the combination of Wyatt from the outside and Lee inside to keep Syracuse at bay. The Orange led by two at halftime but never took a lead in the second half even though there were four ties, the last at 59-59 with 10:23 to play.
C.J. Fair had a career-high 25 points for Syracuse (10-1), which had its 52-game regular-season nonconference winning streak snapped. Jim Boeheim remained at 900 wins, two behind Bob Knight for second place all-time among Division I men's coaches. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has 938 wins.
Temple hit three 3-pointers in an 11-3 run that gave it the lead for good. Scootie Randall started the run with a 3 that broke the 59-all tie. He closed the run with another 3, his only points of the game.
Wyatt and Lee took care of the rest. Wyatt finished 8 of 17 from the field and was 15 of 15 from the free throw line. Lee was open time and again on the baseline and worked hard on the boards. He had nine rebounds, five offensive, and was 11 of 14 from the free throw line.
The Owls were 29 of 36 from the free throw line compared to Syracuse's 19-of-34 effort, including point guard Michael Carter-Williams going 7 of 15.
The 3-point line also hurt the Orange, who were 2 of 12 from behind the arc while Temple was 8 of 24.
Temple's last field goal was an offensive rebound by Quenton DeCosey with 5:41 left that gave the Owls a 72-66 lead.
Syracuse did get within 74-72 on a 3 by Fair with 3:01 left but the Owls went 11 of 15 from the free throw line over the final 2:30.
Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had four points and 10 rebounds for the Owls.
Brandon Triche had 17 points for Syracuse. Baye Moussa Keita added 12 and Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists at 10.7 per game, had 13 points and six assists.
Temple missed 10 of its first 12 shots in falling behind 19-10. The Owls, behind Wyatt who had 20 points in the first half, started hitting shots against the Orange's zone defense and they made nine of their next 14 shots and tied the game at 35. Syracuse scored five straight points but Wyatt capped his big half with a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left and Temple was within 40-38 at halftime.)