Charlotte (17-4) at Temple (14-7)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Liacouras Center (10,206) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Television: None. Home Record: Charlotte 11-1, Temple 9-2. Away Record:
Charlotte 3-3, Temple 4-4. Neutral Record: Charlotte 3-0, Temple 1-1.
Conference Record: Charlotte 5-2, Temple 3-4. Series Record: Temple leads,
GAME NOTES: The Charlotte 49ers will try to continue to prove that they belong
among the Atlantic 10 Conference's elite, as they pull into the City of
Brotherly Love for bout with the Temple Owls.
Charlotte has been one of the A-10's biggest surprises this season, as it has
lost just four of its 21 games and sits in a tie for second place in the
league with a mark of 5-2. The 49ers' most recent triumph came last Saturday,
as they held on to defeat UMass at home, 66-65.
Temple (14-7, 3-4 A-10) was expected to be one of the conference's top squads
this season, but after a 10-2 start, it has gone just 4-5 in its last nine
tilts. The Owls appeared to have their Saturday afternoon contest with cross-
town rival Saint Joseph's well in hand, up by nine with six minutes to play,
but they lost control of that advantage and were eventually saddled with the
heart-breaking 70-69 loss.
Temple has won five of the last six matchups with Charlotte to take a 7-5 lead
in the all-time series.
Charlotte saw its eight-point lead in the second half against UMass disappear,
as the Minutemen tied the game at 63-63 with 2:22 to play, but E. Victor
Nickerson went on to hit what proved to be the game-winning free throws a
minute later to help seal the deal for the 49ers. Even though they were
outshot from the field, 49 percent to 39.7 percent, the Niners outscored the
Minutemen from the foul line, 16-6, and won both the rebounding (37-32) and
turnover (19-14) battles. Nickerson scored 12 points in the win, Ivan Benkovic
netted 10, and all nine players to take the floor contributed in the scoring
column. Putting points on the board hasn't been Charlotte's forte this year,
as it ranks 12th in the league with an average of 67.6 ppg, but it has found
success this season behind its fourth-ranked scoring defense (63.4 ppg). With
DeMario Mayfield (11.7 ppg) suspended indefinitely, Chris Braswell serves as
the team's leading scorer with 11.4 ppg, while Pierria Henry (8.8 ppg, 3.4
apg, 2.9 spg) and Willie Clayton (8.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg) are also regular
Temple played a relatively mistake-free game against Saint Joseph's the last
time out, committing just five turnovers, but it was hindered by a sub-39
percent shooting effort. Despite the disappointing day for the team, Khalif
Wyatt continued his outstanding season by shooting 11-of-24 from the field
(including 7-of-14 from 3-point range) for a career-high 34 points, topping
his previous best of 33 set in this season's win over nationally-ranked
Syracuse. Will Cummings added 11 points in the setback, while Anthony Lee
grabbed 10 rebounds. The Owls' season has been mired in mediocrity
statistically, as they rank eighth in the A-10 in scoring offense (69.4 ppg)
and ninth in scoring defense (65.3 ppg). Wyatt is the conference's leading
scorer at 18.6 ppg, shooting 42 percent from the floor and 82.8 percent from
the foul line. Scootie Randall is a multi-faceted forward with 11.3 ppg, 6.4
rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 bpg and 35 3-pointers, while Lee (11.4 ppg, 7.8 ppg) shoots
greater than 55 percent from the floor.
As good as Charlotte has been this season, it is just 3-3 on the road, which
includes losses in its last two road tilts. Temple has the talent to compete
with anyone in the league, and at the Liacouras Center, it should be able to
get back on track.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 70, Charlotte 67
02/06 10:36:52 ET