Temple falls just short in upset bid
Khalif Wyatt did everything he could, but it wasn’t enough to send No. 9 Temple into the Sweet 16. Wyatt scored 31 points for the Owls in a 58-52 victory defeat to No. 1 Indiana.
Wyatt scored 20 of his points in the first half and led the Owls into the break with a 29-26 lead.
“I was just trying to be aggressive and to stay aggressive,” said Wyatt on his first-half performance. “I tried to stay confident and do my best to help the team win, but unfortunately my best wasn’t enough.”
Wyatt shredded the Hoosiers’ defense with a variety of moves from a finger roll, to a step back three-pointer, to a runner off the backboard, but Indiana was able to limit the rest of the Temple starters to just 4-of-29 from the field for 11 points. Despite the rough day shooting from his team, Wyatt was still happy with their effort.
“I’m proud of all my teammates and all my coaches,” he said. “We really competed hard and we left it all out there on the floor. I’m really proud of everybody and sad that I have to see it come to an end.”
Indiana was led by guard Victor Oladipo who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Cody Zeller added 15 points of his own. Oladipo drilled a dagger three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to give the Hoosiers a 56-52 lead and end the Owls hopes for an upset.
“It was just a miscommunication,” said Wyatt, of Oladipo’s final blow. “He got a real good look at the top of the key and made a big shot.”
One player that couldn’t get it going for the Owls offensively was senior Scootie Randall. Randall, who averaged 11.6 a game this season, went 0-for-12 from the field with four turnovers in 38 minutes.
Wyatt’s offensive output couldn’t hold up by the end of the game. The Owls led 52-48 with 3:09 left in the second half before a 10-0 Hoosiers run closed out the game.
“This was a great season and I wouldn’t trade my teammates for anything in the world,” said Wyatt. “It’s sad to see it end this way but I guess all good things come to an end.”
The loss dropped the Owls’ record against No. 1 seeds to 0-9, an NCAA tournament record.