George Washington stayed close in the first half against bigger, quicker Temple last night by playing its game. But all that changed in the second half.
Temple, which had won 10 of 12 games, led by only five at halftime but put together an 11-2 spurt in the first 3:33 of the second half, en route to a 74-51 Atlantic 10 Conference victory before 1,486 at Smith Center.
GW, which beat Penn State Saturday to end a seven-game losing streak, fell to 6-11 overall and 1-7 in the conference. Temple, which has beaten George Washington five straight and nine of 11, is 14-3, 6-2.
Temple's Ed Coe led all scorers with 19 points, 11 in the second half. Tim Perry had 13 and Nate Blackwell 12 for the Owls. Steve Frick led GW with 14 and Troy Webster had 10, but no other Colonial had more than seven.
"The reason we stayed close in the first half," said Webster, "was because we got the ball inside. But in the beginning of the second half, we took seven quick jumpers . . . and that told the story."
GW was without freshman forward Moti Daniel (10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds a game), who had the flu. Daniel, at 6 feet 6, 220 pounds, would have helped offset Temple's height advantage underneath.
Temple outrebounded GW, 23-10, in the first half and 41-28 for the game.
"We can't allow more than one shot at the basket," said GW Coach John Kuester, "because, with our size, we won't get more than one shot."
The Owls cranked up their running game at the start of the second half and left the Colonials standing. Coe had seven points in the 11-2 run, including the first four and the last three, leaving Temple with a 42-28 lead with 16:27 to go.
"I think we just shot the ball well at that point," Temple Coach John Chaney said of the spurt. "We got the open shots and happened to hit them. No mystery there. They got some of the same shots as in the first half but didn't make them."
"It doesn't surprise me," said Kuester, "that we shot 38 percent (from the floor) in the second half."
Kuester called a timeout, which seemed to help a bit, as Chester Wood made a free throw, Webster made two and Frick scored inside to cut the Temple lead to 42-33 with 13:24 left in the game. But that was as close as it would get.
Coe hit two free throws and Blackwell made a basket from the left corner. Then, following a jumper by GW's Mike O'Reilly, Perry jammed after an offensive rebound and Coe dunked after a steal. The spurt left Temple ahead, 50-35, with 9:05 left.
The Owls didn't let up, either. Evans' basket with just over three minutes left gave Temple a 64-42 lead. Temple's biggest lead was 26.
"This was one of the few games," Kuester said, "where I was disappointed with our effort. We didn't get any intensity in the second half."
Temple's 1-3-1 zone did not allow the Colonials many inside shots, but the ones they did get produced most of GW's points. But with Perry and Ramon Rivas going to both boards, Temple had shots of all kinds.