Texas (7-1) vs. Temple (4-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Wells Fargo Center (19,500) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Texas 6-0, Temple 1-1. Away Record: Texas 0-0, Temple 1-1. Neutral Record: Texas 1-1, Temple 2-1. Conference Record: Texas 0-0, Temple 0-0. Series Record: Texas leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Longhorns will be tested on Saturday as they collide with the Temple Owls in non-conference action at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Since suffering their only setback of the season to BYU on Nov. 25, the Longhorns have defeated DePaul (77-59), Texas-Arlington (72-69) and Vanderbilt (70-64) to improve to 7-1 overall. Texas built a 13-point lead over the Commodores before holding off a late rally to notch its first decision over a power conference team this season. Coach Rick Barnes has his team playing very tough on the defensive end. Texas held the Commodores to 37.9 percent shooting from the field, which is the sixth time this season it has held its opponent under 40 percent shooting.
Temple ended a three-game losing streak with a hard-fought win over Georgia in the Charleston Classic, and coasted past UAB to an 87-66 decision its next time out. The Owls made it three in a row on Wednesday with a 77-69 victory over Saint Joseph's in a Big 5 rivalry game. Fran Dunphy's squad also used a strong defensive effort to come out of its last game on top. The Owls allowed the Hawks to make only two field goal attempts over the final four minutes.
This will be the sixth meeting in history between Texas and the Owls. The Longhorns holds a 3-2 all-time series lead after their 77-65 win over Temple in Austin on Dec. 17, 2011.
The Longhorns' success this season has come courtesy of a collective effort. At least four players have scored in double figures in six consecutive games. Isaiah Taylor paced Texas versus Vanderbilt with 14 points and eight assists. Demarcus Holland and Javan Felix tallied 12 points apiece while Kendal Yancy finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Junior Jonathan Holmes was held to nine points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field by the Commodores. The 6-foot-8 Holmes is leading the Longhorns with 12.7 points per game and adding 6.7 boards per outing. The 6-9, 285-pound Cameron Ridley makes a huge impact on the interior and contributes averages of 8.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and three blocks.
Temple will counter with its star forward, Anthony Lee, who is near a double- double average with 13.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Lee posted 15 points and 11 boards against Saint Joseph's, while Will Cummings and Dalton Pepper scored 16 points each. Cummings is doing a solid job of replacing Khalif Wyatt at point guard. The 6-2 junior is producing 17.9 points and 4.6 assists per game. Pepper and sixth man Quenton DeCosey are both excellent scorers as well, and Dunphy may have found another option on the offensive end in Daniel Dingle, who made his first career start against the Hawks. Dingle's playing time has drastically increased recently and he has gone 7-of-13 from the field over the past three games.
The Longhorns are one of the most improved teams in the nation from a year ago. Barnes may have an NCAA Tournament squad on his hands and Texas will have a good chance to make a statement against Temple. The Owls will need to make a huge effort on the glass if they hope to provide the hometown fans with their desired result.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 77, Temple 75
12/07 10:33:07 ET