Temple hires Penn State assistant Fisher to replace McKie

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA – Temple named Penn State assistant Adam Fisher just its fifth coach since 1973 on Wednesday.

Fisher’s goal will be to turn around a program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2019.

Fisher replaces Aaron McKie, who was transferred out of the coaching job earlier this month after four seasons and a 52-56 overall record with no tournament berths. McKie is now a special advisor to the athletic department.

Fisher takes over a team in flux with six players in the transfer portal. Temple has yet to find any steady success in the American Athletic Conference.

Fisher spent eight years as an assistant with Miami before he joined Micah Shrewsberry’s staff last season at Penn State. Shrewsberry has since moved on to Notre Dame.

“I am confident we have found the right person to lead Temple men’s basketball,” athletic director Arthur Johnson said. “We look forward to welcoming coach Fisher to the Temple community and returning to the NCAA Tournament under his leadership.”

Fisher also worked as a graduate manager at Villanova under Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright from 2007-09.

The Owls have traditionally given their coaches significant time on the bench, though McKie’s tenure was the shortest since Ernest Messikomer from 1939-42. The next five coaches all lasted at least 10 seasons, notably Hall of Fame coach John Chaney’s tenure from 1982-2006.

Temple ousts coach Aaron McKie after 4 seasons

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Temple coach Aaron McKie is out after four years and no NCAA Tournament appearances and will become a special advisor to the athletic department, the school announced.

McKie, who starred at Temple under Hall of Fame coach John Chaney and played for the Philadelphia 76ers in a long NBA career, went 52-56 in four seasons, including 16-16 in 2022-23.

“Aaron has been a role model both as a student-athlete, a professional player and as our coach, representing the university and the program in the finest manner. We are extremely grateful for his service to Temple and the men’s basketball program,” athletic director Arthur Johnson said.

The Owls finished fifth in the American Athletic Conference this season with a 10-8 record and were the only AAC team to defeat No. 1 Houston in the regular season, a 56-55 road win on Jan. 22. It was one of two wins over AP Top 25 opponents. Temple also beat then-No. 16 Villanova 68-64 on Nov. 11.

But that wasn’t enough for McKie, who succeeded Fran Dunphy, to keep his job. Temple hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2019.

“Temple has been and always will be home for me and I wish the program nothing but success,” McKie said.

Dunn’s late free throws help Temple stun No. 16 Villanova

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Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Khalif Battle got lost in a swarm of delirious Temple students that had mobbed the court in celebration of one of the program’s wildest wins in years.

Just one problem.

The tiniest of ticks were stuck on the clock.

Hey, it had been 10 years since the Owls knocked off mighty Villanova. What’s a few more seconds?

“It felt like the party just started,” Battle said. “I mean, they had to chuck-up a shot with .2 seconds on the clock. You do that, I take my hat off. But we won.”

Damian Dunn drew a foul on a driving layup with 1.1 seconds left and made both free throws as Temple beat No. 16 Villanova 68-64 on Friday night, sending the Owls’ fans into a court-storming frenzy – twice! – at Liacouras Center.

The 14 lead changes in the second half helped this one shape up into a Big 5 classic. All that was missing was the Palestra.

“Temple was one of the big-time programs,” Battle said. “We’re just trying to bring it back to that. Bring our name back. It was a big deal.”

Dunn sank the first free throw for a 65-64 lead and Villanova called timeout to ice the sophomore guard. Temple security guards lined the court in anticipation of the mayhem ahead — and Dunn delivered.

He hit the second one, Temple’s Zach Hicks intercepted the in-bound pass and hundreds of fans instantly swarmed the court. The public address announcer ordered fans to clear the court — “the game is not over!” — even as 0.0 remained frozen on the scoreboard.

Turned out, a foul was called on Villanova’s Eric Dixon and Hicks went to the free-throw line with 0.2 on the clock and hundreds of Temple students stuffed behind the other basket ready to sprint out again.

Hicks made both and Villanova called one final timeout. Temple players high-fived impatient fans and also tried to keep the peace safely contained off the court. When the game finally ended, it was Temple Court Storm, Take 2!

Temple coach Aaron McKie earned his signature win in his four seasons on the bench. The Owls beat a Top 25 team for the first time since they topped No. 16 Wichita State 65-52 on Jan. 15, 2020.

“It’s great for the players to see, that’s that college energy that these kids go play college basketball for,” McKie said.

Dunn led the Owls (1-1) with 22 points and Battle had 21.

Caleb Daniels led Villanova (1-1) with 19 points and Dixon had 18. Villanova averaged 26 3-point attempts per-game last season but shot only 2 of 7 against Temple. The Owls denied shots on the perimeter and forced the Wildcats to try passes into the paint, which they hit with mixed results.

“They did a good job of taking away something we like to do,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said.

Saint Joseph’s, Villanova, La Salle, Penn and Temple had its rivalry games intertwined in the fabric of Philadelphia sports for more than 60 years. The Big 5, though, lost its shine over the last decade as the Wildcats turned into a national power and the other four teams could not keep pace.

The pandemic wiped out the annual matchup each of the last two seasons and this was the first meeting since a Villanova win on Feb. 16, 2020. The Owls hadn’t won in the series since Dec. 5, 2012, when Fran Dunphy was still the coach. Villanova had won seven straight in the series by an average of 18 points.

The Owls hit the court fired-up for the upset.

Battle, healthy after missing nearly all of last season with a broken foot, hit a 3 and then converted a four-point play for a 24-11 lead. Temple fans erupted.

The Wildcats were were off their game in Neptune’s second game since he replaced retired Hall of Famer Jay Wright. Villanova closed on an 11-3 run and trailed 34-29.

The Wildcats played without expected starters Justin Moore (out indefinitely, torn Achilles) and preseason Big East freshman of the year Cam Whitmore (right thumb).

None of that mattered as fans ignored the PA pleas and danced and snapped selfies with Hooter after the final horn.


Villanova returns home Monday to play Delaware State.

Temple hosts Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

Temple names Diane Richardson as new women’s hoops coach

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Temple named Diane Richardson its new women’s basketball coach on Tuesday.

Richardson went 80-66 in five seasons at Towson, including this season’s school-record 24 wins and a berth in the NIT.

She also led Towson to the NCAA Tournament in 2019, when the Tigers finished the season with a 20-13 overall record for just its second 20-win season in program history. Towson won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship in 2019.

Under Richardson, Towson’s Kionna Jeter became the first player in program history to be selected in the WNBA Draft when she was drafted in the third round in 2021.

“Temple has a rich tradition of success in women’s basketball, and I am thrilled to take over this program and work hard to take it to the next level,” Richardson said.

She replaces Tonya Cardoza, who was fired in March with a 251-188 record in 14 seasons.

As the 1979 NCAA Regional Champion in the 200- and 400-meter races, Richardson earned a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team but did not compete. Richardson spent time in corporate America before quitting in 1995 to coach.

“Diane is an amazing woman who has had incredible success in not just coaching, but all aspects of her life. It was her drive and passion that separated her from the other candidates, as well as her incredible success at Towson,” Temple athletic director Arthur Johnson said. “I look forward to working with her to return Temple women’s basketball to one of the top teams in the country.”

No. 14 Houston beats Temple 84-46 for 6th straight win

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Fabian White Jr. had 26 points and six rebounds and No. 14 Houston scored the first 15 points in an 84-46 victory over Temple on Thursday night.

White was 11 of 18 from the field to help the Cougars (26-4, 15-2 American Athletic) win their sixth straight. The graduate senior has scored at least 20 points in three straight games.

“Once we came in at halftime and had a little sit down and realized how close we were to cutting the nets down, it just kind of took us up a little bit,” White said. “It just shows our grittiness, our defense and our culture.”

Taze Moore added 19 points, Jamal Shead had 10 points and a career-high 13 assists, and Josh Carlton finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Houston shot 53%, including 63% in the second half. It made 10 of 25 3-pointers and had a 42-18 advantage in points in the paint.

“We know what it takes to get where we want to go,” Moore said. “We have a lot of guys that are strong, that are strong minded and are willing. When you have a team that is winning like we are and that’s all together, it’s hard to beat a team like this.”

Nick Jourdain and Jahlil White each scored 10 points for Temple (16-11, 9-7). Jourdain fouled out 4 1/2 minutes into the second half after picking up his fourth foul and getting called for a technical foul. The Owls shot 31%, including 5 of 19 (26%) in the second half.

White capped the opening 15-0 run with a layup, but the Owls responded with a 14-3 spurt – cutting it two four on two free throws by Jourdain with 9:42 left in the first half.

“We came out a step slow,” Temple coach Aaron McKie said. “It could have been a number of different things. It’s what they do. They get out on you early. I thought we did a good job of fighting back into it.”

The Cougars answered with an 11-3 run, making it 29-17 on a dunk by White with four minutes remaining, and took a 33-23 lead into halftime.

Temple closed within seven to start the second half, but that was as close as the Owls would get. They went 11:18 without a field goal in the second half.

“I thought we were doing a good job of attacking and not having to settle, but you have to make shots in this game,” McKie said. “You can defend as much as you want, but you have to be able to put the ball in the basket.”


Temple: The Owls have not beaten a ranked opponent since Jan. 15, 2020, when it topped then-No. 16 Wichita State. . Temple’s bench scored 28 points.

Houston: The Cougars extended their winning streak to six games over Temple. . Houston finished 16-1 at home this season. . The Cougars outscored Temple 51-23 in the second half. . Houston forced 20 turnovers and turned it into 27 points.


Along with Jourdain’s technical foul, Arashma Parks and Moore were each given technical fouls with 6:57 remaining in the second half. After Moore made an alley-oop off the backboard, he got into it with Parks at midcourt, with Parks pushing Moore as the officials and coaches got in the middle of the scrum before anything else could happen.


Following the game, the Cougars celebrated their AAC regular season championship holding up the trophy to the fans and cutting down the nets. The Cougars clinched the title on Tuesday but waited to cut down the nets until Thursday.

“These guys have worked hard,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “They’ve listened. They’ve followed instructions. They believe in the culture of our program. They’ve embraced it.”


Temple: Hosts South Florida on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

Houston: At Memphis on Sunday to close out the regular season.

Mnunga sends No. 12 S. Florida women past Tulane 78-69

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. — Bethy Mununga scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and No. 12 South Florida pulled away from Tulane for a 78-69 victory on Saturday night.

Sydni Harvey scored 16 points and Elena Tsineke 13 for South Florida. The Bulls have won three straight following a stretch of seven postponements and one cancellation due to COVID-19 protocols.

Arsula Clark made a pair of free throws to bring the Green Wave within 69-65 with 2:48 left. But Harvey sank a pair of foul shots and Elisa Pinzan and Mununga made layups in consecutive possessions and the Bulls (13-1, 10-0 American Athletic Conference) were never threatened again.

Tulane led 21-18 after the first quarter, but Shae Leverett scored three layups in four possessions to start the second and the Bulls never trailed again. After a 30-all tie at intermission, Tsineke sank a 3-pointer and South Florida led the rest of the way.

Jerkaila Jordan scored 29 points for Tulane (14-7, 10-6). Clark scored 20 points and made all 12 of her foul shots. Dynah Jones had 12 points.

Tulane made 26 of 29 foul shots.

Tulane heads to Tennessee to face Memphis on Tuesday. South Florida travels to Philadelphia to take on Temple on Wednesday.