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Dionte Christmas delivered the gifts for the Temple Owls as they beat the 20th-ranked Xavier Musketeers by the score of 78-59. The Owls rode Christmas’ strong second half to victory as they improved their record to 7-8. With the loss, Xavier fell to 14-4.

=In beating a ranked team for the first time in two year, Temple’s Christmas led all scorer with 23 points, 19 of those in the second half, where collectively, the Owls outscored the Musketeers by 16 points to give them easily their most impressive win of the year… as you can tell by their incredibly active message board. Nevertheless, a win like this would certainly make John Chaney proud.

I’ve always loved this…

In other Atlantic 10 news, the Temple/Xavier game wasn’t the only upset of the night. Travis Ford’s Massachusetts Minutemen went into 18th-ranked Dayton’s house and handed them a loss by the score of 82-71. The former University of Kentucky guard (shameless, I know) is quickly proving himself to be as good of basketball coach as he was a point guard.

His time at UMass is just as productive as his tenure at Eastern Kentucky, if not more so and he’s looking to get UMass back to the Big Dance for the first time since 1998 (pdf).