Temple-St. Joseph’s losing luster

The Hawk is dead — at least to Temple fans.

Most city hoops fans consider Temple-St. Joseph’s one of the better rivalries in the country. But how much of a rivalry is it when one team dominates the other over a period of time?

From 2003-08, the Hawks won 12 out of 13 matchups between the Big 5 rivals. Since then, the Owls have won nine in a row, including last Sunday’s 66-52 win at the Liacouras Center.

“In this city,” said Phil Martelli, “[losing to Temple] hurts 150 percent more than just the normal 100 percent feeling of losing.”

The Hawks had their run of greatness with the likes of Jameer Nelson and Delonte West; but in the last four years, the rivalry has been owned by guys like Dionte Christmas and now Lavoy Allen, who is 9-1 against St. Joe’s in his career — a one-point loss his freshman year was the only blemish.

“It means a lot,” Allen said about beating St. Joe’s. “Our fans are really happy, so that feels good.”

Former Temple coach John Chaney lost nine of his last 10 games against Martelli, including the infamous “Goon Gate” game in 2005, but it’s a different story for Fran Dunphy.

“As good of a coach as you can be, that’s what Fran Dunphy is,” Martelli said after Sunday’s game. “He’s as good of a coach as there is in the country. We have a treasure here in this city.”


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