Temple notches colorful victory over La Salle
It is no secret that Big 5 basketball has more than its fair share of tradition.
During Temple’s 58-57 win over La Salle at the Palestra on Saturday, fans revived one of Philadelphia basketball’s more light-hearted rituals: Throwing streamers.
For the first time since 2006, fans celebrated each team’s first basket of the game by throwing colorful streamers on to the court, temporarily halting action.
From 1955 to 1985, when all Big 5 games were played at the Palestra, the streamers were a part of every game. However, the NCAA cracked down on the practice in 1985, and the chromatic custom has remained largely dormant since, only reappearing for special occasions in 1994 and 2006.
Saturday’s matchup certainly deserved the special treatment: the two teams came in with matching 4-3 records and played a tight, back-and forth battle that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.
Temple guard Quenton DeCosey led all scorers with 19 points, 15 of which came in the first half.
Coach John Gianninihad nothing but praise for his star freshman.
“He’s really hard to guard,” Giannini said. “You need some guys who can make something out of nothing. DeCosey is one of those guys.”
Powered by DeCosey’s scoring, Temple took a 35-29 lead into halftime. However, La Salle used a 13-1 spurt at the beginning of the second half to turn the contest into a nail-biter.
However, trailing 56-54 with 18 seconds remaining, La Salle guard Jordan Price missed a game-tying jumper, allowing Temple to ice the game with a pair of Josh Brown free throws.
So, in a game which started in traditional fashion, the ending was also reminiscent of Big 5 battles of old.
Temple, which defeated Penn 76-67 on Nov. 25, moves to 5-3 and will play host to Towson on Wednesday.
La Salle drops to 4-4 and will square off against Drexel on Saturday. The Explorers will face Penn on Dec. 30 in their next Big 5 tilt.
Perhaps the steamers will make an encore appearance.