How long has it been since Temple ousted perennial powerhouse Duke?
Keep in mind that the arena no longer exists.
For the first time since Jan. 25, 1996 — when the Owls eked past the Blue Devils 59-58 at the now-defunct Spectrum — they did it again across the street last night at the raucous Wells Fargo Center.
Temple 78, Duke 73.
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” said Temple guard Ramone Moore, who had nine points. “It’s a great win.”
The Owls had lost nine straight since that last victory in ’96, including a 17-point defeat last season at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
It was a completely different scenario this time around.
Khalif Wyatt paced the Owls (10-3) with 22 points, one of five players in double figures. Consecutive three-pointers by Wyatt late in the game gave the Owls a 66-57 lead. And it got the sellout crowd of 20,420 — the third-largest college basketball crowd in the history of the Wells Fargo Center — behind Temple while drowning out the Duke supporters.
“My teammates trusted me,” Wyatt said. “I just tried to come through for them.”
For the fourth straight year, Temple has knocked off a Top 10 team. Yet this one might be the most enjoyable, especially playing without center Micheal Eric and forward Scootie Randall.
Duke fell to 12-2 with its only loss coming against Ohio State. This Duke team is ultra-talented but young.
The Owls shot 56-percent from the field and played tough defense. It was that simple.
“It feels really great,” Wyatt said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. Coach [Fran Dunphy] said to enjoy it and we will. Then he said, ‘Get ready for Dayton.’ We’ll enjoy this now and come back to work for the next one.”