Temple (16-8) at Massachusetts (16-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mullins Center (9,493) -- Amherst, Massachusetts. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Temple 10-3, UMass 9-2. Away Record: Temple 5-4, UMass 6-3. Neutral Record: Temple 1-1, UMass 1-2. Conference Record: Temple 5-5, UMass 6-4. Series Record: Temple leads, 43-21.
GAME NOTES: Rivals collide at the Mullins Center on Saturday evening, as the Temple Owls come calling on the Massachusetts Minutemen in Atlantic-10 Conference action.
The Owls' postseason resume took a huge hit earlier this week, when Temple dropped a shocking 84-83 loss to the Duquesne Dukes. With the loss, Temple fell to 16-8 on the season overall, and a mere 5-5 in league play. The loss ended a two-game win streak for the Owls, who were coming off a pair of one- point wins over Charlotte and Dayton.
Derek Kellogg's Minutemen are still within striking distance in the A-10, sitting two games out of first place with a 6-4 league mark. UMass however, failed to gain any ground this week with an 86-68 thumping at the hands of VCU on Thursday.
Temple leads the all-time series wit UMass, 43-21. The two teams split a pair of matchups last year, with Temple winning in the regular season and UMass claiming victory the A-10 Tournament.
Khalif Wyatt erupted for a career-high 35 points, but it was a wasted effort in as one-point loss to the Dukes. Wyatt was 9-of-20 from the floor and a perfect 15-of-15 from the free-throw line in the loss. Scootie Randall added 15 points and Dalton Pepper checked in with 13, but Temple shot just .381 from the floor overall in the setback.
Wyatt has really elevated his game this season and currently leads the A-10 in scoring at a hefty 19.6 ppg. Wyatt has also found the time to hand of a team- high 4.0 apg. Anthony Lee and Randall provide a couple of other scoring options at 11.0 and 10.9 ppg, respectively and are the top two rebounders on the team as well. combining for 13.8 rpg.
The Minutemen rely heavily on their point guard as well. Chaz Williams is both UMass's top scorer (15.7 ppg) and distributor, ranking first in the A-10 with 7.1 apg. Jesse Morgan (13.4 ppg) has provided some scoring punch since joining the team after missing the first semester. Terrell Vinson (12.0 ppg) rounds out the top scoring threats. Overall, Massachusetts is averaging 72.4 ppg, while giving up 70.4.
VCU put the Minutemen away early in the second half, opening the frame on a 21-1 run and never looking back. Raphiael Putney recorded his fifth double- double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Freddie Riley added 12 points, while Williams finished with nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists. However, UMass committed a unforgiving 24 turnovers in the loss, led by Williams' six.
The matchup between Wyatt and Williams will be fun to watch. Temple has a couple of marquee wins on its ledger, but the Minutemen have been awfully tough to beat in Amherst this year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 66, Temple 64
02/16 10:46:49 ET