Update, 8:52 p.m…Sorry for the delayed update. The Hatchet crew attending the game booked it home in order to catch some of the Super Bowl (I’d like to thank Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz for the good scheduling). The Colonials fell, 93-80, to the Owls but actually made it a game with a 10-0 run that tied the contest with just under nine minutes left. Some sloppy play and a few missed free throws and rebounds gave Temple the momentum as the clock wound down.
Senior Maureece Rice, who was playing in his last collegiate game in his hometown, led GW with 22 points while fellow Philly native Noel Wilmore added 18. Diggs finished with 19 points. See gwhatchet.com tomorrow for a full recap.
Update, 2:42 p.m….The Owls lead 47-37 at the half behind senior Chris Clark’s 16 points. Today is the guard’s 22nd birthday, and he is certainly giving himself a nice present. The Owls are shooting lights out from downtown, as they’ve hit nine three-pointers. The Colonials, meanwhile, aren’t playing badly either, but have had a few unforced turnovers. Junior Rob Diggs leads the squad with 13 points.
Former Temple head coach John Cheney, who retired two seasons ago, is currently being honored at halftime. Chaney is know for his sometimes explosive behavior but also for taking the Owls to all five of aforementioned Elite Eight appearances. His 1987-1988 team was also ranked No. 1 in the country.
I’m here at the Liacouras Center in north Philadelphia, where the Colonials (5-11, 1-5 A-10) will face the Owls (10-9, 3-2 A-10). GW is still searching for its first road win (0-9) while Temple is 5-3 at home. The Owls, who have the sixth-toughest strength of schedule in the nation, are also on a five-game winning streak.
The Liacouras Center seats 10, 206, almost double the size of Smith Center. There aren’t a lot of banners hanging from the rafters but the ones that do are impressive. The Owls have made the Elite Eight five times since 1988 and also have two Final Four appearances.