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Dec. 16, 1997

Villanova Beats No. 16 Temple, 68-57

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) - Freshman reserve guard Marvin O'Connor hit two big 3-pointers, his only field goals of the second half, to hold off a rally by No. 16 Temple and Villanova pulled away for a 68-57 victory over the Owls on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (3-4), who had lost their last two games, led by as many as 13 points early in the second half, minutes after Temple coach John Chaney was ejected after being assessed two technical fouls.

The Owls (6-2), who had won four straight, used some pressure defense to force turnovers and get back in the game.

Temple used a 16-6 run to get within 49-46 with 5:54 to play. Thirteen seconds later, O'Connor hit the first of his two 3-pointers. Lamont Barnes had Temple back within four points on a dunk with 4:58 left, but O'Connor's second 3 made it 55-48 with 4:43 to play and the Wildcats led by as many as seven points the rest of the way.

Howard Brown led Villanova with 19 points and John Celestand had 16.

Rasheed Brokenborough had 16 points for the Owls and Barnes added 12.

O'Connor, who finished with 12 points, entered the game 4-of-23 from 3-point range.

It was 3-pointers that got Villanova its 29-19 halftime lead. The Wildcats were 6-of-16 from long range in the frst half, while the Owls missed nine of their 10 shots from beyond the arc.

Temple had the 10-point halftime deficit down to 36-30 when Chaney picked up his two technicals with 15:41 to play.

A foul was called near midcourt on Brokenborough. Chaney yelled at official John Cahill, who called the first technical. As Chaney removed his cardigan sweater and continued yelling, official Ted Valentine called the second technical, an automatic ejection.

Celestand made all four free throws for Villanova and the lead was back to 10 points.

Temple was within 61-54 with 2:07 left on a 3-pointer by Pepe Sanchez, but the Wildcats went 7-of-11 from the foul line to seal the victory.