Wyatt, Temple drop No. 5 Duke


PHILADELPHIA -- Khalif Wyatt hit the 3-pointer, stretched his arms, put his palms down and ran like a little kid imitating a plane.

When his next 3-pointer fell moments later, Wyatt mimicked that plane again -- and Temple was really ready to take off.

Wyatt scored 22 points and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson 17 to help the Owls knock off No. 5 Duke 78-73 on Wednesday night.

Long a regular in the NCAA Tournament, the Owls (10-3) proved again how formidable they are against basketball's elite.

Under coach Fran Dunphy, the Owls have made a habit of upsetting some of the better programs. They beat No. 8 Tennessee in 2008, No. 3 Villanova in 2009 and No. 9 Georgetown last season.

This one felt better than them all.

"Whenever you play Duke, you want to beat those guys," Owls forward Ramone Moore said.

Moore, Wyatt and Hollis-Jefferson played a role in the win. So did Anthony Lee and Aaron Brown. Even star guard Juan Fernandez made up for an off-night shooting with a team-high six assists.

Dunphy said he needed a total team effort to beat Duke, and that's what he received on the home court of the NBA's 76ers. The Owls shot 56 percent from the field (31-for-55), outrebounded Duke 32-29 and scored 21 points off turnovers.

"We're thrilled to be standing here as winners tonight," Dunphy said.

Duke wasn't sure what hit them.

The Blue Devils looked little like the team that stormed off to one of the best starts under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Asked if he could see this type of performance coming, Krzyzewski held out his hands as if he were staring into a crystal ball.

"If I saw it coming, I would have faked an illness, instead of getting ill during the game," Krzyzewski said.

Using tough man-to-man defense that limited Duke's long-range shots, the Owls took the lead midway through the first half and never let it go. When the Blue Devils (12-2) crept within three points in the waning minutes, Wyatt hit those consecutive 3-pointers for a 66-57 lead.

The Owls had lost nine straight times to Duke and hadn't beat the Blue Devils since Jan. 25, 1996.

The Owls paid tribute to their north Philly roots by riding the subway to the game.

"It's kind of a tribute to all those Temple people that have done that for so many years," Dunphy said. "That's who we are. We just wanted to let everybody know that we appreciate what Temple University is all about."

It's a less joyous ride home for Duke.

Mason Plumlee had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils, and Miles Plumlee scored 17. Freshman Austin Rivers added 12 points.

 

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