Clark scores 6 straight as Owls advance to Atlantic 10 semifinals

Preview | Box Score | Recap

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP)—Chris Clark scored six straight points and Temple tallied the final 11 points in an 84-75 victory over La Salle in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament on Thursday night.

Dionte Christmas had a game-high 29 points and Mark Tyndale and Sergio Olmos added 14 apiece as the second-seeded Owls (19-12) advanced to their 23rd conference semifinal despite squandering a 14-point second-half lead.

Temple, which has won a season-high five straight games, will play sixth-seeded Charlotte, which rallied in the second half to beat third-seeded Massachusetts 69-65.

Rodney Green had 20 points to lead seventh-seeded La Salle, which finished its season at 15-17. Darnell Harris added 18 points and Yves Mekongo Mbala had 16 for the Explorers, who were routed by Temple last weekend.

This one turned into a great game.

The Owls, who also got 10 rebounds from Tyndale, seemed to be in control after Christmas hit two free throws for a 73-67 lead with 4:37 to play.

However, Harris hit two free throws and a 3-pointer to start and end an 8-0 run that gave La Salle a 75-73 lead.

Olmos scored on a pick-and-roll layup to tie the game, but he failed to convert the three-point play after being fouled with 1:57 to go.

Harris then missed a 3-pointer at the other end and Clark was fouled going for the rebound. He converted both shots to put Temple ahead 77-75.

After Yves Mekongo Mbala was called for walking, Clark hit a 3-pointer that got a very friendly bounce on the rim, going up in the air and coming back down in the basket.

Clark made 1 of 2 free throws after Mekongo Mbala aired a 3-pointer and Christmas converted two more free throws after Harris missed another 3-pointer.

Temple scored the first eight points and 11 of 13 in getting a quick jump on La Salle. The Owls led by eight at the half, increased the margin to 14 early in the second half and were leading 59-48 after a free throw by Christmas with 12:38 to play.

La Salle, which struggled to beat Duquesne in the first round on Wednesday night, went on a 15-2 spurt that featured 3-pointers by Harris, Mekongo Mbala and Ruben Guillandeaux and six points by Green.

There were five more lead changes down the stretch with Clark providing the final one.

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders