DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ramone Moore scored 26 points on Saturday, and No. 24 Temple won its sixth in a row, beating Dayton 75-63 despite missing top rebounder Lavoy Allen.
The Owls (19-5, 9-2 Atlantic 10) remained one game behind league leaders Xavier and Duquesne, who play for sole possession of first place Sunday on the Dukes’ court.
Allen sprained his left ankle in Temple’s last game and didn’t play. The short-handed Owls held their own on the boards and let their defense do the rest. Scootie Randall added 17 points in a balanced offense.
Dayton (17-9, 5-6) shot 37 percent from the field against the A-10’s stingiest defense. Chris Wright led the Flyers with 15 points.
Temple was coming off a costly 77-66 victory over Fordham on Wednesday. Allen, who ranks third all-time among Temple rebounders, sprained his left ankle during the second half and left the game after getting a season-high 14 rebounds. Allen warmed up before Saturday’s game but thought the ankle wasn’t strong enough to let him play.
The Owls used only seven players and each got at least one rebound. Dayton held a 40-39 edge on the boards.
The Flyers fell to 13-3 at home this season, losing their only game against a ranked team. Dayton has been erratic all season, done in by its inability to shoot. The Flyers are second-last in the Atlantic 10 with a 40.3 percent field goal percentage.
Temple’s defense made the difference.
Both teams started cold. Temple missed its first seven shots while Dayton went 3 of 12, keeping it close. Temple went ahead to stay with an 11-2 run led by Moore, who hit a 3, a baseline jumper and a jumper off an inbound pass that put the Owls up 18-12. Moore had 11 points in the first half.
The Owls closed the half with an 8-2 spurt that featured two baskets by Randall and left the Owls ahead 31-21. Dayton shot only 26 percent in the half, going 7 of 27 from the field with nine turnovers.
Temple kept the defensive pressure on at the start of the second half, preventing Dayton from making a run to get back into the game. Randall hit a 15-foot jumper, Moore made two free throws and Rahlir Jefferson — starting for Allen — made a driving layup that pushed the lead to 59-42 with 6:57 left.
The Owls missed the front end of a 1-and-1 three straight times, allowing Dayton to make a surge that cut it to 62-54 in the closing minutes. The Owls put it away by making their last 11 free throws, eight by Moore.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)