59 - 78 Final
  for this game

Christmas, Temple turn tables on Xavier

Jan 17, 2008 - 6:26 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Dionte Christmas and Temple showed that they have the ability to post a blowout win too.

Christmas scored 23 points as the Owls used a decisive second-half run to snap a six-game winning streak for No. 20 Xavier with a 78-59 Atlantic 10 Conference victory on Wednesday.

Mark Tyndale had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Temple (7-8, 1-1 A-10), which shot 48 percent (13-of-27) on 3-pointers en route to halting a three-game losing streak.

The Owls also posted their biggest margin over a ranked opponent since a 75-54 win over third-seeded Florida in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

"I thought we played as good a basketball game as we can play - on both ends of the court," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "Mark and Dionte have to play like that for us to be a good basketball team."

"I thought we ran into a really good basketball team tonight," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "Dionte Christmas doesn't lead our conference in scoring because he can't play. He's a great scorer."

The story coming into the contest was the Musketeers' offense, which blew out its previous six opponents by an average of 25.3 points.

However, Xavier (14-4, 2-1) had its issues finding its offense after Jason Love's three-point play cut the Owls' lead to 47-46 with 12:41 remaining.

The Musketeers, who are 12-0 when they have four players reach double figures, missed 13 of their next 15 shots over a span of more than 6 1/2 minutes.

Meanwhile, Christmas and his teammates caught fire, finishing off a streak of making six straight 3-pointers in putting together a 20-4 run.

Christmas, who had 19 points in the second half, ignited the run with a shot from the arc and added a layup for a 65-50 lead with 6:26 remaining.

The Owls took their biggest lead at 74-52 on two free throws by Tyndale with 4:22 remaining.

"The A-10 is very strong this year, with three teams ranked," Tyndale said. "This is a big win for us."

Ryan Brooks had 10 points off the bench and Sergio Olmos grabbed 10 rebounds for Temple, which shot 51 percent (28-of-55) overall and finished with 21 assists.

"We were moving the basketball," Dunphy said. "When we had open looks, we were stepping up and making them."

Leading scorer B.J. Raymond failed to find the scoring column for Xavier, going 0-of-7 from the field with six misses from long range.

With Luis Guzman scoring all of his career-high 13 points in the first half, Temple built a 27-21 lead late in the first half.

Although the Musketeers then scored the next six points to tie the score for the second time, the Owls took a 30-27 lead into intermission after a layup by Guzman and a free throw by Chris Clark.

Xavier opened the second half on a 7-1 run, but Christmas hit his first four 3-pointers heading into the decisive run. Overall, the junior guard went 4-of-7 from the arc.

Early on, Christmas had a memorable moment, surpassing 1,000 career points with a layup midway through the first half. He is the 44th player in school history to reach that plateau.

Derrick Brown scored 14 points and Love added for the Musketeers, who went 22-of-57 (39 percent) from the floor and had as many turnovers as assists (12).