Wyatt lifts Temple over N.C. State
Dayton, OH – Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points and led Temple to a 76-72 win over North Carolina State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"He's as tough a competitor as I've had an opportunity to coach," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He wants the moment."
Jake O'Brien scored 18 points and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson added 12 for the Owls (24-9), who made their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Temple, the ninth seed in the East Region, will face top-seeded Indiana in Sunday's third round.
Lorenzo Brown had a team-high 22 points and dished out nine assists for the Wolfpack (24-11), who made the Sweet 16 last spring and were coming off a loss against Miami in the ACC Tournament semifinals. C.J. Leslie scored 20 points and Richard Howell registered 14 points and 15 rebounds in defeat.
"We've played against really good guards this year," said Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried. "Khalif Wyatt is as good or better than all of them."
Leslie dunked the ball in the first 13 seconds of the game, but Wyatt's layup and a triple by Will Cummings gave Temple the lead with 17:04 left in the first half, and they would hold on to it for the remainder of the contest.
Tied at 13-13 with 13:13 remaining, the Owls went on a 20-5 run to give them a 33-18 advantage.
O'Brien drilled a 3-pointer with 21 seconds to go and extended their lead to 38-22 at halftime.
The Wolfpack, however, turned things around in the second half, as they shot 70.4 percent from the field in the frame. Brown was a major factor in the comeback, scoring 16 points.
With two seconds remaining in regulation, Brown shot a jumper that cut the deficit to 74-72. Initially, the shot was called as a 3-pointer but it was then changed.
Afterwards, Wyatt drew a foul off Rodney Purvis and sank both of his free throws to seal the victory.
Temple recorded 17 points off turnovers, while North Carolina State recorded just six ... The Wolfpack outscored the Owls in the paint, 48-24 ... Wyatt made 12 of his 14 free throw attempts to break Temple's 57-year old record for most free throws in a single season, set by Hal Lear in 1956. He also scored 20 points in the second half.