Delaware (2-3) at Temple (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 25, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Liacouras Center (10,206) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Delaware 0-0, Temple 1-0. Away Record: Delaware 1-0, Temple 1-0. Neutral Record: Delaware 1-3, Temple 0-0. Conference Record: Delaware 0-0, Temple 0-0. Series Record: Temple leads 37-6.
GAME NOTES: The Temple Owls will host the Delaware Blue Hens on Sunday at the Liacouras center in a matchup of former conference foes.
Delaware comes into this game fresh of its four-game stint in the NIT Season Tip-Off. After earning wins against Penn (84-69) and Virginia (59-53) in its first two games of the event in Charlottesville, the Blue Hens took losses to Kansas State (66-63) and Pittsburgh (85-69) at Madison Square Garden. Delaware is 2-3 overall and has yet to play a home game. Two more road contests await the Blue Hens before the home opener against Radford.
Temple was not involved in any early season tournaments and has played only two games. Both of those contests ended in victories with a road win against Kent State (80-66) and a home triumph against Rice (77-63). The Owls will be on the road in their next matchup against Buffalo.
These two teams are both former members of the East Coat and Middle Atlantic Conference's. Temple has dominated the rivalry with 37 wins in 43 total meetings, including victories in 17 straight. The last time Delaware beat the Owls was in 1963.
A slow start doomed Delaware against Pittsburgh. The Blue Hens shot just 29.6 percent from the field in the first half while the Panthers connected on 65.4 percent of its field goal attempts to take a 41-21 lead at the half. Delaware shot at just a 38.6 percent clip overall in the game and had only eight assists, to 25 by the Panthers. As usual, Devon Saddler was the lead scorer, pouring in 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting.
Saddler is as close to a guarantee as there is in the country. The junior guard is scoring 21.6 points per game and has been in double figures in all five games this season. He was particularly productive at MSG as he scored for 60 points in the two games. Saddler is also the team's second best rebounder (5.0 rpg). With Saddler taking the bulk of the offensive responsibilities only Jarvis Threatt (10.4 ppg) scores in double figures for the rest of the roster. Jamelle Hagins (8.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg) is a productive rebounder and has the ability to record a double-double, though. Even with such a prolific scorer as Saddler, the Blue Hens are only netting 66.2 points per game. With Saddler often going one-on-one, the team has also not really excelled in moving the ball (7.8 apg).
Temple did not play its best game against Rice, connecting on 41.3 percent of its shots, including a 4-of-26 effort from beyond the arc. However the Owls had a 21-11 edge in points from the free throw line and made enough stops down the stretch to earn the win. Anthony Lee (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Scootie Randall (16 points 12 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles to help the Owls hold a 43-30 edge on the boards.
Despite losing a number of key contributors from last season's NCAA Tournament team, Fran Dunphy's squad hasn't missed a beat. The Owls are scoring an impressive 78.5 points per game, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field. The offense has been predicated on ball movement with Temple racking up 17.0 assists per game, the 26th best mark in the country. On the other, end the Owls only let up 64.5 points per game. Getting Randall back after he has been limited in the last two seasons due to injury has been a huge addition. Randall (23.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg) can shoot from the outside but has no trouble putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. Anthony Lee (16.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg) is a double-double threat, while Khalif Wyatt (13.0 ppg, 6.0 apg) moves the ball and can heat up at any time. Unheralded Rahlir Hollis- Jefferson (10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) brings a ton of energy.
Dunphy has continued Temple's strong defensive principles. While the Owls won't be able to completely stop Saddler they will certainly be able to slow him down. On the other end the Owls have a number of scoring options of their own and plenty of firepower to move to 3-0.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 76, Delaware 64
11/25 10:41:22 ET