by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Playing in front of over 20,000 fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night, Temple defeated No. 5 Duke for the first time since 1996 with a 78-73 victory. Temple had dropped nine straight to Duke before the win.
The Owls fell behind the Blue Devils early, but a jumper from Juan Fernandez with 13:49 remaining in the first half put Temple up for good. Despite several runs from Duke, Temple rode a hot offense, shooting 56.4 percent from the field, for a win over a top-10 team for the fourth straight season.
The difference maker was in the Temple backcourt. Junior guard Khalif Wyatt scored 22 points and tallied 5 steals. His defense kept Austin Rivers and Seth Curry quiet. The Duke duo shot 5-for-16 from the field and finished with a total of 18 points.
After the game, Wyatt was getting praise from the losing squad.
“Wyatt is a big-shot guy,” Mike Krzyzewki said. “He can go 1 for 10 and hit the big shot. He just believes in himself and you love that in a kid. And you love that Dunph puts him in a position to do that.”
The loss is Duke’s second of the season, and its first since a 22-point loss to Ohio State on Nov. 29. The Blue Devils are yet to win a true road game and will look to change that in their ACC opener against Georgia Tech on Saturday.