South Florida (9-6) at Temple (5-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Liacouras Center (10,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: USF 6-4, Temple 1-2. Away Record: USF 3-0, Temple 1-3. Neutral Record: USF 0-2, Temple 3-2. Conference Record: USF 0-2, Temple 0-2. Series Record: South Florida leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams looking for their first American Athletic Conference win square off on Thursday evening, as the Temple Owls play host to the South Florida Bulls.
Temple enters this tilt hoping to stop a two-game losing streak. In their last outing this past Saturday, junior Will Cummings exploded for a career-high 31 points, but it wasn't enough as the Owls fell to UCF, 78-76, losing for the fourth time in five outings overall.
The Knights opened up a seven-point advantage on an Isaiah Sykes lay-up with 7:33 remaining in the contest, but the Owls answered with seven straight points to tie the score at 66-66. UCF, however, scored the next four points to take a 70-66 lead, one it would not relinquish
Temple is playing short-handed, as both Daniel Dingle and Mark Williams are expected to miss this contest due to injury.
Cummings leads Temple in scoring with 17.8 ppg. Dalton Pepper is next with 16.7 ppg, while Quenton Decosey (15.5 ppg) and Anthony Lee (13.7 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for the Owls. Lee also averages a team-best 9.4 rpg for Temple, which average 78.4 ppg, but yields 75.2 ppg.
South Florida also comes into this contest having dropped two straight and four of five overall.
Last Saturday, the Bulls fell to Houston, 67-58. Martino Brock finished with a team-high 11 points and freshman forward/center Chris Perry added 10 points for USF, which cut a 34-26 halftime deficit down to three with 13:52 remaining, but couldn't get any closer. The Bulls scored a total of six points in the final five minutes.
Only two USF players average double figures in scoring this season, with Victor Rudd's 15.7 ppg leading the way. Corey Allen adds 11.9 ppg, but that's it as the Bulls net just 69 ppg. Rudd adds a team-best 7.1 rpg.
This will be the first-ever regular-season meeting between these two schools. The only previous bout took place in the second round of the 2012 NCAA tournament, when the Bulls posted a 58-44 victory over the Owls.
Even though USF is a perfect 3-0 on he road and Temple is only 1-2 at home, the Owls are too deep and should come away with the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 72, South Florida 65
01/09 10:38:19 ET