PHILADELPHIA -- Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson posted a career-high double-double and Temple went on an 18-0 run late in the first half in an 82-74 victory Thursday night in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
The Owls (18-8, 7-5), whose last five games were decided by one point, turned a 24-21 deficit into a 39-24 lead. La Salle (18-7, 8-4) sought its first outright title in Philadelphia's City Series since 1990. Instead, it allowed a season high in points and tied Temple at 3-1 in the Big Five.In the second half, Temple led 53-31 after a 3-pointer by Scootie Randall (15 points). La Salle twice got within nine points. Two late treys by the Explorers made the final margin eight points.Hollis-Jefferson was dominant for Temple with 23 points and 18 rebounds, career highs in both categories. Khalif Wyatt added 17 points.Ramon Galloway led the Explorers with 18 points and Tyreek Duren added 16.
If La Salle beats Temple tonight, the Explorers will go 4-0 in the Big 5, winning the Big 5 title outright for the first time since 1989-90. The 1989-90 season was also the last time La Salle won an NCAA Tournament game.
The Big 5 is a group of Philadelphia schools (Villanova, Temple, La Salle, Penn and St. Joseph's) that have played in a round-robin format every year since 1955 (4 games from 1955-56 to 1990-91, 2 games from 1992-93 to 1998-99 and 4 games again from 1999-2000 until now).