Temple (5-10) vs. La Salle (10-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Temple 1-5, La Salle 6-1. Away Record: Temple 2-4, La Salle 2-3. Neutral Record: Temple 2-1, La Salle 2-2. Conference Record: Temple 0-5, La Salle 3-0. Series Record: Temple leads, 73-40.
GAME NOTES: No coach has more wins at the Palestra than Fran Dunphy, but the Temple Owls coach finds his team in free fall mode heading into today's Big 5 meeting with the surging La Salle Explorers.
Dunphy, who collected most of his Palestra wins (171-55) with the Penn Quakers, is 11-3 at the famed arena since coming to Temple in 2006. This will be the first meeting for the two teams at the Palestra since Jan. 4, 1989.
The Owls have lost five straight games, the longest skid for the team since the 2006-07 season. The last time Temple lost six straight was Dec. 5-30, 2001, also a six-game skid. On Tuesday, the Owls suffered a 69-58 loss at 19th-ranked Cincinnati. That dropped the team to 0-5 in American Athletic Conference play. Dalton Pepper scored 21 points, Quenton DeCosey had 17 and Anthony Lee finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Owls.
Guard Will Cummings (16.1 ppg), who sat out due to a concussion, was cleared medically but did not make the trip to Cincinnati due to a quick turnaround between games. The Owls are hoping he returns for today's game. Pepper (17.5 ppg) paces the Owls in scoring, while Lee (13.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg), leads the AAC in rebounding. DeCosey (16.1 ppg) is the only Temple player to have scored in double figures in every game this season.
On the other side, the Explorers have won four in a row, the most recent of which being a 72-62 home triumph over Rhode Island on Wednesday. Tyreek Duren tallied 15 points. Jerrell Wright registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Steve Zack logged a double-double as well with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam Mills also scored 11 points. During the winning streak, the Explorers have made 49 percent of their 3-point shots and are averaging 11.3 made shots from beyond the arc per game.
La Salle has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Duren (13.8 ppg) and Tyrone Garland (13.8 ppg). Wright (12.8 ppg) is shooting 58.5 percent from the field, while Zack (10.0 ppg, 9.4 rpg) paces the A-10 in rebounding. Mills has made good on 17-of-33 3-point tries in his last five games. Duren has played exceptionally well at the Palestra. In the last five games at the arena, the senior guard is averaging 20.4 ppg. and shooting 60.8 percent from the field, including 15-of-22 from 3-point range.
The Owls are 2-0 this season in Big 5 play heading into this contest, while the Explorers are 1-1. Former Atlantic 10 rivals, this will mark the first non-conference game between Temple and La Salle since 1995. Temple has won eight straight against the Explorers, but the injury-ridden Owls face an uphill battle this afternoon, especially if Cummings is rusty in his return. Also, the Explorers have won 10 of their last 13 games at the Palestra.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 83, Temple 73
01/18 10:15:54 ET