Temple (8-21) at South Florida (12-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 8, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Dome (10,411) -- Tampa, Florida. Television: ESPNews. Home Record: Temple 4-9, South Florida 7-9. Away Record: Temple 1-9, South Florida 5-7. Neutral Record: Temple 3-3, South Florida 0-2. Conference Record: Temple 3-14, South Florida 3-14. Series Record: South Florida leads, 2-0..
GAME NOTES: The Temple Owls and South Florida Bulls try to avoid going into the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament as the worst team when they tip off this afternoon in the regular-season finale for both schools at the Sun Dome.
Temple and South Florida are tied with UCF as the worst teams in the AAC with 3-14 records. The winner of today's game will avoid being at the bottom heading into the postseason tournament, which begins on March 12.
The Bulls enter this game riding a seven-game losing streak following Tuesday's 78-69 setback at Houston.
Victor Rudd, who averages a team-best 16.0 ppg, poured in a game-high 25 points for South Florida, which fell to 12-18 this season. Martino Brock had 19 points for the Bulls, who drew within two points thanks to a 9-3 surge to end the first half, but saw Houston open the second with a 19-6 run to take control.
The 69 points for the Bulls was a welcome site for the anemic offensive unit. South Florida averages just 65.6 ppg this season, being held under 60 points four times in the last eight contests. Rudd is the only double-figurer scorer for South Florida, which shoots 43.5 percent from the field and only 25.7 percent from three for the season.
Temple, meanwhile, moved out of the basement of the AAC when it defeated UCF on Sunday 86-78 in overtime.
Dalton Pepper poured in 26 points to lift the Owls, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Anthony Lee recorded a double-double for Temple with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Will Cummings knocked down 7-of-11 shots from the floor en route to 23 points. Quenton DeCosey contributed eight points, seven boards and five assists as Temple improved to 8-21 overall, winning for the second time in 10 games.
Pepper and Cummings are among the leaders in the AAC in scoring. Pepper averages 17.5 ppg, while Cummings tallies 16.6 ppg. Anthony Lee adds 13.8 ppg and a conference-leading 8.7 rpg for Temple, which averages 73.6 ppg as a team on 42.7 percent shooting.
These two teams met back on Jan. 9 with South Florida coming away with an 82-75 win. Rudd led all players with 23 points while also pulling down 10 boards for South Florida, which used a 16-3 run to go ahead by three, 72-69 with 5:32 on the clock. The Bulls never trailed after that.
Lee had a double-double for Temple with 22 points and 10 boards and Pepper added 17 points, but Cummings was held to only two points.
Temple probably should've won that first game if Cummings had a better night. That motivation, along with avoiding the bottom of the AAC standings should be enough to get the Owls up for this game. However, Temple has just one road win this season and South Florida does have a decent home record. Expect the Bulls to squeak one out.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Florida 68, Temple 65
03/08 10:26:52 ET