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KARCHER THE MAN WITH A HOT HAND AS VIRGINIA TECH IS DOOMED AT TEMPLE

For Virginia Tech, facing Mark Karcher's offense and the Temple defense was a little like taking an exam without an ounce of studying. It was a test they had no chance of passing.

Karcher had 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field as the Owls (12-4 overall, 5-1 in the Atlantic-10 Conference) dominated the Hokies, 66-46, Saturday to win for the third straight time and sixth time in the last seven games.

"We just didn't have an answer for him," said Virginia Tech coach Ricky Stokes of Karcher. "We didn't have one early and we didn't have one late. He can do it all and he made us pay big."

Even John Chaney, notorious for being hard on his players, was impressed.

"When he's scoring well, he turns into a demon," Chaney said. "He was relentless today."

Lamont Barnes had 14 points, even though he was just 4 for 11 from the foul line, and Lynn Greer added 10 for the Owls, who held the Hokies to a season-low in points. Temple, which forced 21 turnovers, has not lost to Virginia Tech in the eight games they have played.

"Our turnovers were simply bad execution of our passes and handling the ball," Stokes said.

However, Temple guard Pepe Sanchez, who had six points and nine assists, thought that the way Virginia Tech (9-8, 3-3) lost was just part of the Owls' formula.

"That's the way we always play," Sanchez said. "I think teams get tired of facing our defense in the second half. When we play good defense and control the other team, they get tired and start missing passes and start missing shots."

Dennis Mims had 11 points, on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, and nine rebounds for Virginia Tech, which had a three-game win streak snapped.

Dayton gives GW a kick

DAYTON, Ohio -- Mark Ashman ignored a sore foot and scored 18 points in Dayton's balanced attack as the Flyers (14-3, 4-1) built a big lead and held on for an 83-76 victory over George Washington (6-11, 0-4) in the A-10.

Dayton took control with a 19-4 run over a 5:40 span in the first half. Ashman started it by making a layup, two free throws and a jumper in a 46-second span.

Ashman had eight points overall in the run, which put Dayton ahead, 28-17. Six Dayton players scored during the spurt.

George Washington fell behind by 16 points in the second half before a six-point run cut the lead to 75-71 with 2:53 left. But George Washington missed 3 of 6 free throws in the final minute, helping Dayton hang on.

SirValiant Brown added 22 for George Washington, but was only 8 of 27 from the field and had four turnovers.

Mack, Kirkland power UMass

AMHERST, Mass. -- Monty Mack scored 17 points and Chris Kirkland added 16 as hot-shooting Massachusetts (9-8, 3-2) took an 89-50 win over Rhode Island (5-13, 2-3) in the A-10.

After taking a 42-27 lead into the break, UMass started the second half by hitting 13 of 17 in the first seven minutes.

UMass finished 51.4 percent from the field on 36 of 70 shooting. Shannon Crooks, with 13 points, also reached double-figures for the Minutemen.

Rhode Island shot 28.3 percent (17 for 60) for the game and committed 21 turnovers.

Tavorris Bell led the Rams with 16 points.

UMass took control with an 11-0 run early in the first half. Rhode Island, meanwhile, shot 1 for 13 over the first five minutes.

The Minutemen led by as many as 17 points twice in the first half.

Murphy leads Irish to win

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Troy Murphy scored 21 points and Notre Dame (12-7, 3-2) made a school-record 14 three-pointers in an 81-66 Big East Conference victory over Pittsburgh (8-8, 0-5), the Panthers' fifth straight loss.

Freshman Jere Macura scored all of his 12 points on three-pointers, including three midway through the second half, as the Irish took control.

Jarrett Lockhart and Ricardo Greer each scored 20 points for the Panthers while Chris Seabrooks added 17.

Around the nation

Na'im Crenshaw put a missed shot in with one-tenth of a second remaining to break a tie and give St. Joseph's (8-7, 3-3) a 62-59 Atlantic 10 win over Duquesne (8-9, 3-3).

Jordan Harris had 17 points and 11 rebounds to power Colgate (4-11) to a 60-53 victory over Dartmouth (7-8). Shaun Gee paced the Big Green with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Patrick Hernandez hit four free throws with 45 seconds remaining in overtime to lead Columbia (8-7, 2-0) to a 69-66 Ivy League win at Cornell (6-8, 0-2). Joe Case led Columbia with 16 points, while Craig Austin finished with 17. Wallace Prather led Cornell with 16 points and Keirian Brown added 15.

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