Originally created 03/19/01

Temple 75, Florida 54



NEW ORLEANS -- Add Florida to the fast-growing list of Temple's frustrated victims.

Temple confused the Gators with its renowned matchup zone defense and, behind the shooting of Quincy Wadley and Lynn Greer, won 75-54 Sunday in the second round of the NCAA South Regional.

It was a familiar Philadelphia story for the 11th-seeded Owls, especially in the NCAA tournament against top opponents.

Temple shut down the Gators' shooters and shut off their passing lanes. With six minutes left, third-seeded Florida had only 13 baskets but 11 turnovers.

Coming off a 79-65 win over Texas, the Owls advanced to the round of 16.

The Gators fell behind by 20 at halftime, and never got a chance to make a return trip to the NCAA title game, where they lost 89-76 to Michigan State last season.

At times, Florida (24-7) looked like it was facing a 2-3-2 zone, rather than one with only five defenders.

The signs of frustration were obvious, and so were the statistics. Players were shaking their heads, coaches were shouting and Florida shot only 18-for-50 overall.

Wadley had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and sparked a 14-0 run late in the first half that put Temple ahead for good. He punctuated the win with a 3-pointer with three seconds left, and pointed at the Temple fans.

Greer had 20 points and nine assists. Alex Wesby added 13 points and Kevin Lyde had 11 for Temple.

Udonis Haslem had 16 points for Florida, Matt Bonner had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Brett Nelson had 12 points.

A day earlier, Temple's John Chaney - the first Division I coach to recruit Florida coach Billy Donovan when he was a high school star - said this game would come down to two different styles.

He was right.

Wadley admitted this weekend that he still had trouble figuring out some of Temple's coverages after five years at the school. With only one day to prepare for a team it had not played in eight years, the Gators were no match.

Wadley hit four 3-pointers during the 14-0 run late in the first half that turned Temple's one-point deficit into a double-digit lead.

The Owls kept extending the lead, and got a huge break when Greer was fouled on an off-balance 3-pointer with nine-tenths of a second left in the half. Greer hit all three free throws for a 45-25 lead.

It was the ninth straight win for Temple, a team that was on the tournament bubble late in the season.

Chaney followed his usual script, not making a substitution for the first 12 minutes. He was relatively calm for such a big game, while Donovan constantly worked the officials.

While Donovan's instructions to his players did not help too much, his words for the officials at least did some good.

"They're hand-checking. Call it at the other end!" he shouted midway through the first half.

On Florida's next trip downcourt, Temple was called for two such fouls.

The Gators left the Superdome much like their football team, which lost the Sugar Bowl at the same site in early January.