PHILADELPHIA – On an evening during which the Hoyas made mistakes and struggled against a stellar Temple defense, they still had the ball in their hands in the final moment with a chance to win the game.

But there was no offensive rebound and no clutch Chris Wright three to offset a poor Hollis Thompson decision this time, as Ramone Moore and the Owls (6-2) muscled their way to a 68-65 victory over No. 9 Georgetown (8-1) in front of an electric crowd at the Liacouras Center last night. A win would have given the Hoyas their best start in Head Coach John Thompson III’s seven-year reign.

With 15 seconds to play, the Hoyas forced a Juan Fernandez miss, and down 66-65, Thompson III elected not to use his final timeout, opting to go against a transition defense and to trust his guards. The ball found its way into the hands of Hollis Thompson, who had taken just two shots all night, at the top of the key with just under 10 seconds left. Reminiscent of his off-balance three-point attempt against Missouri, his wild drive down the lane ended with a clanked layup off the bottom of the rim, sealing Georgetown’s fate. Neither Wright nor fellow senior guard Austin Freeman touched the ball on the final play.

“I thought we had them in scramble mode, thought we had some openings,” Thompson III said of not calling a timeout. “You come down to the end like that, you have to trust each other. Was that the shot that we wanted to get? No. But that’s where we ended up.”

Taking the game’s entire picture into account, it was a wonder that the Hoyas controlled their fate in the final moments with plenty of time to find a good shot. Georgetown stayed in the game thanks in large part to its work at the charity stripe, going 18-of-20 for the game.

Temple bothered Georgetown all night on the defensive end, locking down the three-point line and trusting senior forward Lavoy Allen to go to work against the Hoyas’ bigs. Allen struggled mightily on offense, but with four blocks and a physical style of play, he limited what Georgetown could do inside. Though the Hoyas won the battle of the glass 32-25, they were outscored in the paint 34-28.

“I would say it was one of the toughest defenses [we’ve faced],” said junior guard Jason Clark, the only Hoya to have a standout night with 15 points and five rebounds. “They do a good job of packing it in and not letting anything get inside.”

Temple came into the game allowing a little more than 55 points per game and was able to play an active man-to-man defense against the Hoyas. Although senior forward Julian Vaughn finished with 14 points (8-of-8 from the line) and eight rebounds, he looked overmatched going against Allen, turning it over three times and shooting 3-of-9 from point-blank range.

Buoyed by its three-point shooting early on this season, Georgetown shot 1-of-7 from downtown in the second half and turned it over 17 times in the contest.

\”I thought our defense overall was good,\” Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy, who notched his 400th career victory, said. \”To hold them to 44 percent was really good. We made them work for everything they got. I thought we competed at both ends of the court. Ramone [Moore] was great throughout.\”

oore, who had scored more than 20 points just once, exploded for 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three. Temple went just 4-of-11 from beyond the arc, but each made attempt came at big moments in the game, most notably a Moore three to put the Owls up 59-56 with 5:51 remaining.

Falling behind 6-0 out of the gate, the Hoyas did not have a lead all night and were tied only twice – at 0-0 and at 56-56. Trailing by as many as 10 in the first half, Georgetown managed to stay within a bucket or two throughout the final 20 minutes, but the Owls were continually able to prevent the Hoyas from getting over the hump.

Temple led by seven at the break, spurred by 53.6-percent shooting and 13 points off turnovers. Neither Wright nor Vaughn had a field goal in the first half, and junior center Henry Sims, who had been coming on of late, saw limited action and looked like his old self, turning it over three times.

The Hoyas return to Verizon Center on Sunday for a noon tip-off against Appalachian State.

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