Ramone Moore scored 14 points, and Lavoy Allen had 12 points and 10 rebounds Saturday to lead No. 15 Temple to a 64-52 win over La Salle before a crowd that included longtime Owls coach John Chaney.
The Owls (18-4, 6-1 Atlantic 10) got key buckets down the stretch from their second-teamers during an 11-2 run that helped squash La Salle's upset bid. Moore and Rahlir Jefferson came off the bench and scored nine points during the run.
Temple needed the help with key starters slogging through uncharacteristic off games. Ryan Brooks and Juan Fernandez _ the Owls' two leading scorers _ combined for only 14 points on 6 of 21 shooting.
The Owls bounced back from a 74-64 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday that ended their six-game winning streak and knocked them out of sole possession of first place in the A-10.
Rodney Green led La Salle (11-10, 3-5) with 13 points. Aaric Murray and Yves Mekongo each scored 11.
Proving that preseason polls mean little once the meat of the conference season rolls around, the A-10 coaches picked the Explorers to finish above Temple. La Salle hasn't played in the NCAA tournament since 1992, while the Owls made the last two under coach and one-time Explorers co-captain Fran Dunphy.
The Owls won't win many games against better competition shooting the 3 the way they did Saturday. They missed their first 10 attempts until Brooks hit one 8 minutes into the second half for a 45-35 lead. Temple entered making 34 percent of its 3-pointers.
With the long ball not working, they aggressively attacked the lane to pile up points inside. Brooks dashed to the basket after a steal and was fouled as he tossed up a one-handed layup. His free throw made it 50-37.
Moments later, Jefferson burst through the lane for a three-point play and a 57-44 lead.
The Explorers made six 3-pointers and got within six early in the second half. But injuries to key seniors have taken their toll on the Explorers and they simply didn't have the depth to compete with Temple's bench.
The Owls missed all nine 3-point attempts in the first half and still led 30-24 at the break. While the offense never clicked, the defense was as tight and tough as ever. The Owls rank sixth nationally in defense, holding teams to 57.1 points, and the Explorers missed 18 of 25 shots in the second half for their lowest point total of the season.
Nationally ranked defenses were a staple under Chaney.
The Owls honored him, along with former La Salle coach Speedy Morris and Villanova coach Rollie Massimino, who were inducted Friday into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. Morris and Chaney walked out to the court at halftime and were recognized for their honor.
There was a humorous moment when La Salle's T.T. Carey pulled off his warmup shirt _ and took his jersey with him. He almost checked in with just an undershirt.
It was just another laugh Temple had La Salle's expense. Temple's student section enjoyed poking fun all game at La Salle, unraveling rollout banners that included, "La Salle has 3 Ls. Your team has nine."
Make it 10.
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