Canisius (7-2) at Temple (8-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 19, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Liacouras Center (10,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Canisius 4-0, Temple 5-0. Away Record: Canisius 3-2, Temple 3-0. Neutral Record: Canisius 0-0, Temple 0-1. Conference Record: Canisius 2-0, Temple 0-0. Series Record: Temple leads, 4-0.
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 Temple squad.
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.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 75, Canisius 66
12/19 10:39:56 ET