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Published: Sunday, 11/14/2010

Undermanned and overwhelmed: Rocket basketball team proves no match for No. 22 Temple

PHILADELPHIA - Temple has time to savor its thumping of Toledo. May as well enjoy the laughers now and get the deep reserves all the garbage time they can play, because tougher teams are sure to give the Owls fits.

Micheal Eric had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead five starters in double-digit scoring and No. 22 Temple beat Toledo 82-49 Sunday.

The Owls (2-0) dominated from the opening tip and had little resistance from the undermanned and overwhelmed Rockets. The Owls had five starters scoring in double figures before the midway point of the second half in their first game against Toledo (0-2) since 1986.

"Our players need to understand that we need to do a lot of basic things well for us to have a chance to be successful," Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "We're not doing that right now, and our first two games against Illinois and Temple have shown us that. We're not defending the way we should be and we're turning the ball over too much. I thought we executed a little better in the second half, especially in terms of our shot selection. Hopefully we can build on that."

Temple went on early 12-0 and 13-0 runs in a rare automatic W among a loaded nonconference schedule. No. 1 Duke, No. 6 Villanova, No. 20 Georgetown and Maryland are all on the schedule for coach Fran Dunphy's Owls.

"Everything was kind of going our way, but it was a situation where Toledo was outmanned," Dunphy said.

Temple's Khalif Wyatt drives past Toledo's Malcolm Griffin Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.
Temple's Khalif Wyatt drives past Toledo's Malcolm Griffin Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Ramone Moore and Lavoy Allen each scored 12 points for Temple, Scootie Randall had 11 and Juan Fernandez 10.

The Rockets lost their second straight game to a ranked team, losing the opener to No. 13 Illinois, 84-45. Toledo lost its 34th straight road game.

Temple can thank its football team for these easy MAC games. The Owls are obligated to play Mid-American Conference teams as part of the agreement that lets the football team play in that conference.

After opening with wins over Seton Hall and Toledo in three days, the Owls face an 11-day break.

"I think we're getting better, that's what you hope," Dunphy said. "Moore was the Atlantic 10's sixth man of the year last season and has quickly found his niche in the starting lineup. He led the Owls with 14 points in the season-opening win against Seton Hall and scored nine in the first half against Toledo. Moore's been solid with his shot, 12 for 23 in the first two games.

Toledo's Zack Leahy, who scored 15 points, hit his first two shots for a 4-2 lead. Temple took over from there.

Randall hit a 3 for the lead and, after one more basket by Leahy, the Owls started a 12-0 run that put the game away.

The Owls kept pestering Toledo and capitalized off nine first-half turnovers. Fernandez picked off a pass in the lane and fed to Moore for a nice bucket in transition and a 38-13 lead. That capped the 13-0 run and helped the Owls lead 40-16 at halftime.

Moore opened the second half with a 3 and Randall wowed the crowd with a thunderous dunk that made it 45-18.

About the only suspense from there was when Temple was going to empty the bench.

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