Minutemen Fall To Temple In Atlantic 10 Final, 76-65
March 10, 2001
By ROB MAADDI
PHILADELPHIA - The longest losing streak in John Chaney's 18 seasons at Temple is a distant memory now.
Lynn Greer scored 20 points, and Kevin Lyde had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Temple to a 76-65 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday in the Atlantic 10 tournament final, sending the Owls to the NCAA tournament for the 12 straight year.
The Owls (21-12) avenged four straight losses to UMass (15-15) in the A-10 title game in the 1990s, and won their second straight conference championship.
Kitwana Rhymer had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Jonathon DePina added 14 for UMass. Monty Mack, who scored 56 points in the first two games of the tournament, had 12. He didn't take a shot in the first 12 minutes of the second half and finished 2-of-10.
Quincy Wadley had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Alex Wesby added 10 points for Temple, which lost seven straight early in the season - the longest losing streak in Chaney's tenure.
Temple, which wasted a 12-point, first-half lead, used a 12-4 run to erase a one-point deficit and take the lead for good late in the game.
Greer, the tournament MVP, scored nine points during the spurt, including an acrobatic play that gave the Owls their biggest lead of the second half.
Greer was stripped by Shannon Crooks on a driving layup, caught the ball while twisting in the air, hit a floater and was fouled. His free throw completed the three-point play and made it 68-60 with 3:57 left.
Three free throws by Mack cut it to 68-65 with 2:53 remaining. After both teams missed several shots, Lyde hit two free throws to give Temple a 70-65 lead with 49 seconds left.
The Minutemen didn't score the rest of the way.
UMass took its first lead, 33-32, on a pair of free throws by Rhymer less
than a minute into the second half.
A short jumper and a free throw by Rhymer gave the Minutemen their biggest lead, 41-36, early in the second half. But Temple went on 9-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Wadley that made it 45-41.
UMass didn't reach double digits until more than 10 minutes into the game, but closed the first half with a 12-2 run that cut it to 32-31.
Wadley and Greer nailed consecutive 3-pointers to give the Owls a 21-9 lead midway through the first half.
The usually irascible Chaney appeared subdued throughout the game, sitting on his chair, holding his hands and shaking his head. Chaney finally celebrated by cutting down the nets after the victory.
Temple has reached the NCAA tournament in 17 of Chaney's 18 seasons.
UMass, which started 2-9, likely will miss the NCAA tournament for the third straight season under Bruiser Flint, who took over in 1996 when John Calipari left for the NBA.
Flint, a non-stop talker, was unusually quiet in the first half, but stormed down the sideline and had to be restrained by assistants after a technical foul on Rhymer with 9:47 left.
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