Khalif Wyatt had never been in Madison Square Garden let alone played there.
The Philadelphia native left the building on Saturday after scoring a career-high 33 points and being the key to Temple beating No. 3 Syracuse, 83-79, in the inaugural Gotham Classic.
‘‘I always wanted to play here because all the great players had a chance to play here,’’ the 6-foot-4-inch senior said. ‘‘This was a chance for us to show everyone that Temple is a real program.’’
Anthony Lee had a career-high 21 points for the Owls (9-2), who were coming off a 10-point home loss to Canisius.
‘‘I don’t think we would have won today without the loss in the last game,’’ Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. ‘‘Our guys did a great job today. I wish it was worth more than one victory.’’
The Orange led by 2 at halftime but never took a lead in the second half even though there were four ties, the last at 59-59 with 10:23 to play.
C.J. Fair had a career-high 25 points for Syracuse (10-1), which had its 52-game regular-season nonconference winning streak snapped. Jim Boeheim remained at 900 wins, two behind Bob Knight for second place all-time among Division 1 men’s coaches. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has 938 wins.
Wyatt made all 15 of his free throw attempts and Lee was 11 of 14 as the Owls were 29 of 36 overall.
Syracuse was 19 of 34 from the line including missing four in the final six minutes when it was mostly a one-possession game. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams finished 7 of 15.
‘‘They made free throws, we didn’t,’’ Boeheim said. ‘‘You don’t like to say it comes down to that, but when you miss 15 free throws it’s tough to win any game.’’
Carter-Williams took the heat.
‘‘If I make free throws we win the game,’’ he said.
Temple hit three 3-pointers in an 11-3 run that gave it the lead for good. Scootie Randall started the run with a 3 that broke the 59-all tie. He closed the run with another 3, his only points of the game.
The 3-point line also hurt the Orange, who were 2 of 12 from behind the arc while Temple was 8 of 24.
Louisville 78, Western Kentucky 65 — Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score 13 points and collect six rebounds and Russ Smith added 20 points as the fifth-ranked Cardinals (11-1) cruised past the host Hilltoppers (8-5)
Kansas 74, Ohio State 66 — Ben McLemore scored 22 points and the No. 9 Jayhawks (10-1) stretched their winning streak to nine by upending the No. 7 Buckeyes (9-2) at Columbus, Ohio.
Jeff Withey had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Elijah Johnson tallied 13 points, and Travis Releford added 11 as Kansas defeated Ohio State for the sixth straight time.
Kansas State 67, Florida 61 — Will Spradling had 16 points and five assists, including one that set up Shane Southwell’s 3-pointer in the closing minutes, and the host Wildcats (9-2) knocked off the No. 8 Gators (8-2).
Missouri 82, Illinois 73 — Laurence Bowers had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the No. 12 Tigers (10-1) over the No. 10 Illini in the annual Braggin’ Rights game in St. Louis. Alex Oriakhi added 13 points and 14 rebounds as Missouri won its fourth straight in the 32-year-old series.
Cincinnati 68, Wright State 58 — JaQuon Parker scored a season-high 21 points, including 15 in a 23-6 spurt to start the second half, as the No. 11 Bearcats (12-0) recovered from a slow start for their 12th straight win over the visiting Raiders (8-4).
Minnesota 75, Lafayette 50 — Joe Coleman scored 12 points, Otto Osenieks added 10 points, and the No. 13 Gophers (12-1) got 42 points from their reserves to bounce the visiting Leopards (5-9) for their eighth straight win.
Georgetown 65, American 48 — Otto Porter had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the No. 15 Hoyas (10-1) pulled away late in the first half in the win over the visiting Eagles (4-8).
South Dakota St. 70, New Mexico 65 — Nate Wolters scored 28 points and handed out seven assists, leading the visiting Jackrabbits (10-4) to an upset of the No. 16 Lobos (12-1). Kendall Williams scored 21 to lead the Lobos, who went 7 of 12 from the foul line in the closing minutes to frustrate their own comeback efforts.
San Diego St. 80, San Francisco 58 — Chase Tapley made six 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 33 points to lead the No. 18 Aztecs (10-1) to their 10th straight win, beating the Dons (5-5) in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
Butler 75, Evansville 67 — Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith each scored 20 points and the No. 19 Bulldogs (9-2) beat the visiting Purple Aces (7-5) for their sixth straight win.
Michigan St. 67, Texas 56 — Derrick Nix had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help the No. 20 Spartans (11-2) surge past the Longhorns (7-5) at East Lansing, Mich. Keith Appling had 14 points and Adreian Payne added 13 for the Spartans, who stayed perfect in six December games.
North Carolina 97, McNeese St. 63 — P.J. Hairston scored a career-high 20 points and Reggie Bullock added 17 points for the No. 23 Tar Heels (9-3) in a rout of the visiting Cowboys (6-4).
Oklahoma St. 78, Tennessee Tech 42 — Freshman Phil Forte scored 22 points and the No. 24 Cowboys (10-1) hit a season-high 11 3-pointers in rolling over the visiting Golden Eagles (6-6).
N.C. State 92, St. Bonaventure 73 — C.J. Leslie scored a career-high 33 points, Scott Wood added a season-best 23 points, and Lorenzo Brown had a season-high 11 assists for the No. 25 Wolfpack (9-2) in a rout of the visiting Bonnies (7-4).