PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With a win over a Top 25 team out of the
way, Temple is thinking big. Someone scrawled on the chalkboard in
the locker room: "NCAA Tournament. No excuses."
With the 3s falling and the sizable crowd rocking, it was easy
for the Owls to imagine a return to the glory days was possible.
Dustin Salisbery hit four 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and
Antywane Robinson had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead Temple to
its first win over a ranked team in three years, 68-58 over Alabama (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) on Saturday.
"We're looking at the bigger picture. It's a great confidence
boost, but we've got to use it as another stepping stone to get
where we want to be at," Robinson said. "That's been the big
picture ever since I got here. It's one of those things where we
feel we have all the components on the team, we've got to gel
together, mesh together to get to the NCAA Tournament."
The win was reminiscent of the old days when coach John Chaney
was routinely leading the Owls (5-2) deep into the NCAA Tournament
instead of settling for the NIT.
Chaney loves scheduling the toughest teams around to prepare his
team for the postseason, but a steady string of losses against the
elite has kept the Owls out of the NCAA tourney the last four
"It's my first ranked win since we've been here and it's a big
one for us," Salisbery said.
"You keep rolling the dice and sometimes it happens," Chaney
The Owls also achieved a more modest goal, winning three
straight games for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
Jean Felix scored 19 points and Jermareo Davidson grabbed 10
rebounds for Alabama (4-3). The Crimson Tide lost to an unranked
team for the second time this week, following a 78-71 loss to Notre
Dame on Wednesday.
Even with a three-guard starting lineup and no true all-around
threat in the middle, the Owls outrebounded Alabama 37-31, an
impressive feat against a Crimson Tide team averaging 38.3
"For us to have a couple of guys that blocked out and got on
the boards and ended up with more rebounds then them, that's
something that I never expected would have happened," Chaney said.
The Owls relied almost exclusively on the 3-pointer in the first
half, even though they were shooting only 35 percent from 3-point
range coming into the game.
Salisbery sandwiched two of his 3s around only the second one
from Tyndale this year for a 13-7 lead and the Owls started to take
off. Alabama hung around for a while because of its own 3-point
accuracy -- at one point the teams traded 3s on four straight
possessions, energizing the crowd -- until the Owls turned the game
into their own little shooting contest.
Collins, Tyndale, Salisbery and Robinson hit successive 3s
midway through the first half, making Temple 9-for-16 at that point
and giving the Owls a 33-20 lead.
Alabama closed with an 11-4 run to trail 35-31 at the half and a
made a brief rally late in the second, but it wasn't enough.
"They controlled the tempo," Alabama coach Mike Gottfried
said. "It's hard to get them out of their rhythm."
With nine 3s in the half, the Owls fell one shy of their
season-high 3-point total. The Owls only made one 3-pointer in the
second half and finished 10-for-26 overall.