FACTS & STATS: Site: Hagan Arena (4,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Temple 9-2, Saint Joseph's 6-3. Away Record: Temple 4-3, Saint Joseph's 5-3. Neutral Record: Temple 1-1, Saint Joseph's 1-1. Conference Record: Temple 3-3, Saint Joseph's 3-3. Series Record: Temple leads, 88-66.
GAME NOTES: Big Five basketball takes center stage at Hagan Arena on Saturday evening, as rivals Temple and Saint Joseph's square off in Atlantic 10 Conference action.
Fran Dunphy's Owls have certainly had their ups and downs this season and the team's 14-6 overall record is certainly proof of that. The Owls knocked off Syracuse back on Dec. 22 and took Kansas to the limit on the road in early January, but has faltered against Xavier, St. Bonaventure and Butler in- conference. Temple was able to even its conference record at 3-3 last tome out though with a 71-64 win over Richmond this past Wednesday.
Phil Martelli's Hawks were supposed to vie for a conference crown this season, but that has yet to materialize, as Saint Joseph's is also just 3-3 in league play and 12-7 overall. The Hawks have played well over late however, posting back-to-back wins over Xavier (59-49) and most recently at Fordham (66-62).
Temple holds an 88-66 advantage in the all-time series. Saint Joseph's brought and end to a 10-game win streak by Temple with last season's 82-72 win at Hagan Arena. The 154 total meetings represent the most between Big Five rivals.
Temple used 55-6 percent shooting from the floor in the first half to take an eight-point lead into the break against Richmond and was able to hold on for the win in the second half. Scootie Randall led the way offensively for the Owls with 21 points. Three others finished in double figures, as Khalif Wyatt poured in 19 points, while Anthony Lee and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Lee completed a double-double with 13 rebounds.
Temple is certainly no offensive juggernaut, averaging 69.4 ppg on a rather mediocre .417 shooting. However, Wyatt has certainly emerged as a prolific scoring threat, netting 17.8 ppg, while also pacing Temple in assists (4.0 apg). Lee (11.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg) has been solid in the middle. Randall (11.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) rounds out the team's top offensive threats.
Carl Jones iced the game for Saint Joseph's going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line down the stretch to provide the Hawks with a four-point win in the Bronx this week. Jones finished with a game-high 19 points and was joined in double figures by Halil Kanacevic and his 12 points, as well as Ronald Roberts and Chris Wilson, who finished with 10 points each. Roberts completed a double- double with 10 boards.
The Hawks are also putting up modest scoring totals, coming in averaging 69.2 ppg. The scoring pool is a little deeper than Temple's though, as four of SJU's five starters are averaging double-digits. Jones leads the way with 15.1 ppg. Langston Galloway is a close second with his 14.2 ppg. C.J. Aiken and Roberts complete the quartet with 11.3 and 11.0 ppg, respectively. Roberts is also the A-10's top rebounder, grabbing 8.7 rpg.
Temple has proved it can play with anyone this season, but rivalry games have a way of taking on a life of their own. Saint Joseph's needs a big win to turn things around, and this may just be what the doctor ordered.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Joseph's 68, Temple 65
02/02 11:02:37 ET
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