GAME NOTES: The Temple Owls will try to continue their stellar start to the
season when they resume play in the Gotham Classic against the Canisius Golden
Griffins at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Temple has won eight of its first nine contests, with the lone loss coming
against now top-ranked Duke earlier this month. The Owls have rebounded with
two straight wins since that setback, including Monday's 63-46 triumph over
Alcorn State. TU wraps up a three-game homestand tonight.
Canisius opened play in the Gotham Classic with an 85-61 loss at No. 3
Syracuse this past Saturday, and followed that up with an 82-54 victory over
Longwood on Monday. Overall, the Golden Griffins have notched four wins in
their last five tries. Following this tilt, they'll head to Las Vegas to
battle UNLV on Saturday.
Temple holds a 4-0 lead in the all-time series with Canisius, although this
marks the first meeting between the teams since 1966.
Isaac Sosa was on fire for Canisius on Monday night, as the senior guard
poured in a season-high 24 points. Sosa (10.0 ppg) knocked down a career-high
eight 3-pointers in 12 attempts, while teammate Alshwan Hymes added 18 points
off the bench behind a 4-of-10 effort from beyond the arc. Chris Manhertz
rounded out the team's double-digit scorers with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting
from the floor to go along with nine rebounds. Defensively, the Golden
Griffins limited Longwood to 34.9 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers.
Leading scorers Harold Washington (15.9 ppg) and Billy Baron (15.9 ppg)
finished with only four points apiece in 52 combined minutes, although the
Griffs got by rather easily without much production from their top options.
However, they'll need all hands on deck playing on the road against a red-hot
The Owls boast four players averaging double figures, led by Scootie Randall
with 14.4 ppg and a team-best 7.9 rpg, and Khalif Wyatt with 14.2 ppg. Randall
and Wyatt both like to step outside and shoot the three, although they have
combined to make only 31-of-108 attempts (.287) on the season. Anthony Lee
(10.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (10.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg) have also
made steady contributions for the Owls. Against Alcorn State on Monday, Wyatt
registered a game-high 20 points to eclipse 1,000 points for his career.
Randall added 11 points and pulled down a game-high nine boards, while Hollis-
Jefferson also scored 11. Jake O'Brien made his first start in place of Lee
(illness) and finished with 10 points, three blocks and three steals. A return
to health for Lee would give the Owls a nice boost in this matchup, although
they have certainly proven capable of getting by without him.
Both teams are off to solid starts this season, although the Owls, playing at
home, have a bit more offensive firepower than the Griffs, who can ill-afford
another dud from their top two scorers.