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Updated: Saturday, January 31, 2004 9:17 PM EST
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(3) Saint Josephs 83, Temple 71

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Saint Joseph's fans had the perfect response to chants of "Overrated."

The third-ranked Hawks kept alive their bid for a perfect season, using a record-setting 3-point assault to bury Atlantic 10 Conference foe Temple, 83-71, in a Big Five matchup.

St. Joseph's (18-0, 8-0 A-10) extended a team record with its 18th consecutive win and remained one of two unbeaten teams in the nation. Second-ranked Stanford rallied to defeat Oregon on Saturday night, also improving to 18-0.

Jameer Nelson and Delonte West scored 21 points apiece for the Hawks, who set a single-game conference record for 3-pointers made, going 20-of-36 from the arc. They began the day third in the nation, making 9.3 per game.

"That's a good shooting club," said Temple coach John Chaney, a game removed from his 700th career victory.

Pat Carroll scored 20 points and Chet Stachitas added 12 for the Hawks, who were just 4-of-9 on two-point attempts. Despite their predictable attack, they did enough to impress Chaney, who said St. Joseph's is a "special" team.

The Owls' patented matchup-zone defense was tailor-made for the Hawks, who started the day 15th in the country by hitting 40.2 percent of their 3-pointers.

"Look, we're a 3-point-shooting team and they play zone, so you're gonna shoot threes," St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said. "Zone gives you jumpers, so why wouldn't you shoot threes?"

"I think they probably prepared themselves for it," said Temple guard David Hawkins, who scored 36 points. "They have it in their minds that they've got to take a lot of threes, so it didn't surprise me that they shot so many."

St. Joseph's built a 72-43 lead on a 3-pointer by Nelson with 8:45 remaining. Temple used a 28-8 run to cut its deficit to 80-71 with 40 seconds remaining but did not get any closer.

After Hawkins made a 3-pointer to slice the Owls' deficit to single digits for the first time since the first half, the home fans chanted, "Overrated!" The visitors responded with, "Undefeated!"

"I chant at them every day," Martelli joked. "Last week at Bonaventure, we were up 55 and the students started chanting it. I thought that was funny. I thought that was creative.

"It's better than them chanting, 'Never rated,' to be honest with you. I'm sure we're gonna hear it (more)."

Their next chance is next Saturday at Villanova, the third of five Big Five matchups - games between Philadelphia schools - this season. St. Joseph's knows it can't incur another meltdown.

"We know that in another day, we're going to be right back in a hostile environment," West said. "And if we don't bring it there, we're gonna be 18-1."

The Hawks never trailed, scoring the first seven points and using a 13-3 run to build a 23-9 cushion 8:11 into the contest. They made five of their first 10 attempts from the arc, taking the 14-point lead on a 3-pointer by Stachitas.

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