Towson (4-5) at Temple (6-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 12, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Liacouras Center (10,200) -- Philadelphia, Philadelphia. Television: None. Home Record: Towson 0-0, Temple 3-0. Away Record: Towson 1-5, Temple 3-0. Neutral Record: Towson 3-0, Temple 0-1. Conference Record: Towson 0-0, Temple 0-0. Series Record: Temple leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Temple Owls will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season, as they play host to the Towson Tigers at the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night.
The Tigers were unable to take down their last opponent, but they hung around with the nationally-ranked Georgetown Hoyas before losing 46-40. Towson is now 4-5, which already gives it three more wins than it tallied all of last season. Coach Pat Skerry's team is just 1-3 on its current road trip as it began with losses to Loyola-Maryland (66-53) and UMBC (66-62) before notching a four-point in over Vermont. The Tigers are scoring 63.7 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting from the floor while limiting their opponents to 61.9 ppg on 38.8 percent shooting.
As mentioned, Fran Dunphy's Owls lost their first game of the season on Saturday as No. 2 Duke avenged a loss from last season with a 90-67 win in East Rutherford. Temple began the year with six straight wins, which included victories over Delaware (80-75) and Villanova (76-61). The Owls are outscoring their opponents by an average of 6.9 ppg.
This bout marks the third meeting on the hardwood between these two schools. Temple won both previous encounters, the most recent of which took place on Dec. 6, 2007.
Towson struggled against Georgetown as it hit only 32.6 percent of its field goal attempts and committed 22 turnovers. To their credit, the Tigers held the Hoyas to only 29.2 percent field goal efficiency, but the home team did a much better job controlling the ball to maintain control. Towson turned to its new star forward, Jerrelle Benimon, against his former school, and he netted a team-high 11 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the low-scoring setback. The junior currently paces the club with 15.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest. Freshman guard Jerome Hairston is also making an impact with 9.8 ppg and a team-high 2.6 apg.
The Owls were completely shut down at the offensive end by the Blue Devils the last time out. Temple shot just 39.7 percent from the field and made only 1- of-4 attempts at the charity stripe. Freshman guard Quenton DeCosey led the team with 13 points in 18 minutes off the bench, but the starting lineup went a combined 15-of-47 from the floor. Senior guards Scootie Randall (15.1 ppg) and Khalif Wyatt (13.9 ppg) are the team's top two options on offense. Randall is leading the team in scoring, rebounding (7.1 rpg), and minutes (35.7). Wyatt is sixth in the Atlantic 10 with 4.6 assists per outing. Sophomore forward Anthony Lee (10.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is beginning to blossom into a reliable scoring option as well.
Although Towson held its own against Georgetown, it will find itself in a much tougher game against a bitter Owls squad. Temple will prove to be more difficult to contain, but easier to score on. Benimon will need to take over the game if the Tigers are going to knock off the Owls.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 70, Towson 56
12/12 10:31:33 ET