PHILADELPHIA - For Penn’s final non-conference game of the 2007-08 season, the Quakers used an all-too-familiar formula of recent games in taking an 80-64 loss at Temple Wednesday night.
Penn (5-12) allowed the Owls to score the game’s first 12 points, finally getting on the board with nearly four minutes gone when Cameron Lewis hit a foul shot. Temple (9-8) answered that with a layup by Mark Tyndale to take a 14-1 lead.
From that point, the Quakers dug in and played the Owls almost evenly in taking the loss. However, when the contest was over, Penn had lost for the third-straight game, while Temple had improved to 9-8 with its third-straight victory.
The loss was also Penn’s first against longtime Quaker head coach Fran Dunphy, who is in his second season as head coach at Temple after leading the Penn program for 17 years.
Temple’s lead expanded to 19 by halftime, and crested at 20 early in the second stanza. Penn responded with six-straight points, however, and while the Quakers were never able to threaten the Owls they got no closer than 10 neither did they let their hosts pull away for an easy victory. That in itself was a noticeable change from Saturday night’s 40-point loss to Saint Joseph’s.
Instead, with Tyler Bernardini scoring all of his team-high 16 points after the break, Penn drew within 13 with just over 13 minutes to play, and looked like it might make it 11 when Kevin Egee got free for a layup. His attempt was blocked by Tyndale, however, and while the Penn bench screamed for a goaltending call Dionte Christmas fired home a dagger three-pointer. The five-point swing was exacerbatedwhen Penn head coach Glen Miller was whistled for a technical foul his first on the Quaker bench from which Christmas converted a foul shot.
Penn remained poised after that swing, however, and traded points with Temple over the next several minutes. The Quakers finally made their run with about six minutes to play, going on a 7-0 run spanning 1:29 to make the score 65-55 with 4:45 to play.
Christmas drilled a jumper, but Brian Grandieri quickly followed with a postup layin. However, Tyndale knocked down a jumper, and then after Kevin Egee was stuffed on a layup attempt under the basket Christmas drained another shot that gave the Owls a 71-57 lead.
Bernardini hit a pair of foul shots with 2:33 to play, making the score 71-59, while Chris Clark hit a three-pointer with the shot clock at its end point, and then after Harrison Gaines missed a layup Lavoy Allen finished a feed from Christmas. That pushed Temple’s lead to 76-59 with just over a minute remaining.
In addition to Bernardini’s performance, freshman Jack Eggleston and sophomore Andreas Schreiber had standout efforts Wednesday night. Eggleston finished with a career-high 15 points and six rebounds, while Schreiber had 12 points one shy of his career best and also snared six boards.
For Temple, Christmas had another outstanding night, shooting for 24 points, four rebounds and four assists. Tyndale ended the night with 18 points, seven boards and six dishes, while Ryan Brooks had 15 points.
Penn will play only Ivy League games the rest of the way this season, beginning next weekend (Feb. 1-2) when Harvard and Dartmouth come to The Palestra on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both games are slated to tip off at 7 p.m.