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Originally published January 6, 2013 at 07:57p.m., updated January 6, 2013 at 09:09p.m.

Temple guard Khalif Wyatt impresses once again playing top opponent

Kansas forward Kevin Young fights for a rebound with Temple players Anthony Lee and Khalif Wyatt during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Kevin Young fights for a rebound with Temple players Anthony Lee and Khalif Wyatt during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after Temple win

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 69-62 victory over Temple on Jan. 6, 2013.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Temple coach Fran Dunphy

Temple coach Fran Dunphy talks to reporters following his team's 69-62 loss to Kansas on Jan. 6, 2013.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson

Kansas players Kevin Young, Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 69-62 victory over Temple on Jan. 6, 2013.

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Box score

KU-Temple

During his team's loss to then-No. 2 Duke in early December, Temple senior Khalif Wyatt was held to just six points on 3-of-15 shooting in a game he would just as soon forget.

Since that disappointing outing, Wyatt has more than made up for the early-season dud with a 19-point scoring average and two of the best games of his career against two of the country's top teams.

The most recent such outing came Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse, where Wyatt's hot shooting and poised play allowed Temple to take the Kansas University men's basketball team to the wire before the Jayhawks pulled away for a 69-62 victory.

Wyatt followed up his huge game in an upset victory against Syracuse on Dec. 22 — 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting — with an equally impressive performance against the sixth-ranked Jayhawks. The savvy senior from Norristown, Pa., led all scorers Sunday with 26 points on 8-of-19 shooting, knocking down all seven free-throw shots he took while playing a huge part in forcing KU senior Travis Releford to sit on the bench for most of the second half with four fouls.

"He's a really good player," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, one of a small number of people in the gym Sunday not surprised by what he saw from Wyatt. "He has no fear and he knows what he's doing out there. He's just a terrific player. It's an extraordinary game that he has. There's no speed or quickness to it, but there's a whole lot of intelligence."

That was on full display early during the second half, when Wyatt scored in a number of different ways and refused to let Temple (10-3) fold. With his team trailing 41-33, the 6-foot-4 scorer took it upon himself to get the Owls back into the game by scoring 11 straight Temple points. That put the visitors ahead for the first time, and, thanks largely to Wyatt's 17 second-half points, they stayed in front or tied for the next 12 minutes before KU (12-1) pulled away in the final 2:45.

"I think we handled the atmosphere great," said Wyatt, whom KU coach Bill Self complimentarily said had "kind of an old man's game." "I was proud of all the guys. Nobody showed any fear, nobody let the stage get the best of them. A stage like this is what you play for. You get a chance to shut all those people up in the crowd, but we didn't take advantage of it. But it was a fun atmosphere, and that's just a great college basketball game."

Asked where KU's home court ranked in all of the places he has played throughout his Temple career, Wyatt did not hesitate to give Sunday's venue the nod when it came to noise.

"This was probably the loudest," he said. "They score even a layup and they go crazy. It doesn't matter what they do, the crowd goes crazy."

That's the way Dunphy remembered it from his two previous trips here. But, even with that knowledge, the Temple coach was blown away by Sunday's experience.

"This is my third time here (and) I don't remember it being this loud," Dunphy said. "The other two were deafening. This was beyond that, early in the game. But I think our kids were not troubled by that. I don't think they were in awe as much as I would've been had I been a player. I'm proud of our guys, and I think we showed some toughness."

Comments

Boouk 1 year, 11 months ago

The Big 12 is so bad I wouldn't be surprised if KU only has 2 losses by Selection Sunday.

Mike Bratisax 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree that the Big 12 isn't as good as it usually is but in no way does that diminish KU's victory over Temple. Temple should be ranked. they beat Syracuse and played well against Kansas and Duke.

This is not a team that most coaches would look forward to see in their bracket.
I think Temple will at least be a Sweet 16 team in this year's NCAA.

Eliott Reeder 1 year, 11 months ago

Just 'as soon forget', not 'assume forget' Jesse... first line of your piece.

oldalum 1 year, 11 months ago

I noticed that, too. I'll bet we can blame the spell checker. He probably wrote "assoon", leaving out the space. The checker corrected it to "assume."

Robert Brock 1 year, 11 months ago

He's fortunate that autocorrect didn't make a bigger mistake.

Steve Reigle 1 year, 11 months ago

Sounds like the dictation tape transcription errors that used to plague me. Transcriber operators just typing what they hear and not really listening to the context. I'm showing my age. :)

Matt Tait 1 year, 11 months ago

Blame the writer. I was in a hurry because Tom (my ride) had to get out of there in time to film The Drive and I butchered it. Thanks for the catch, though, folks! And thanks to Jesse for fixing it.

Jesse Newell 1 year, 11 months ago

Thanks for the heads-up. Should be fixed above.

jhox 1 year, 11 months ago

I didn't think it was all that loud today. It was pretty good down the stretch, but nothing like many other games I've seen over the year there.

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 11 months ago

Second half today was the loudest yet this year as I've been to every game and this one was number 1.

Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 11 months ago

What a great game! How can Temple not be ranked??? They are a solid, well-coached team and would probably win on a neutral floor or on their home court. I hope we don't run into them again in March, thats for sure.

Looked like they were able to mess up the game flow pretty well for the Hawks, and I was really glad to see them hang on for the win. Temple really controlled the second half until the last few minutes. Scary lesson, and a good win, too.

Rock Chalk!!

Displayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

I was wondering the same thing GBJ! They are going to be a tough out in March! They are better than K-State or Mizzery IMHO.

FL_Jhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Seemed to me, watching on TV, that the crowd really wasn't all that loud until the final minutes when we were starting to take the lead, at which time it appeared Temple kind of lost it. I felt at that time that the roaring crowd was indeed having an impact on Temple's performance, which caused them to make some mistakes that we were then able to capitalize on.

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