Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Can Owls avoid first-round exit?

ATLANTIC CITY -- Temple will look to avoid something that hasn't happened since 2007: lose its opening game in the Atlantic Ten tournament.

Can Owls avoid first-round exit?

ATLANTIC CITY -- Temple will look to avoid something that hasn't happened since 2007: lose its opening game in the Atlantic Ten tournament.

The 21st-ranked Owls will face eighth-seeded Massachusetts at noon in an A-10 quarterfinal. As the tourney's top seed, Temple had a first-round bye.

Back in 2007, St. Joseph's defeated Temple, 66-62, in the first-round matchup. The Owls followed with 10-consecutive tourney wins and three championship titles before losing to Richmond, 58-54, in last season's semifinals.

Here’s a look at the probable starters, coaches’ records and series information:

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PROBABLE STARTERS

TEMPLE (24-6)

32 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson F 6-6 Jr. 9.1 ppg. 6.5 rpg.

50 Micheal Eric F 6-11 Gr. 9.2 ppg. 8.7 rpg.

4 Juan Fernandez G 6-4 Sr. 11.4 ppg. 3.8 apg.

1 Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Jr. 17.1 ppg. 2.1 spg.

10 Ramon Moore G 6-4 Sr. 17.8 ppg. 3.5 apg.

MASSACHUSETTS (21-10)

34 Raphiael Putney F 6-9 Soph. 10.5 ppg. 5.7 rpg.

33 Terrell Vinson F 6-8 Jr. 9.4 ppg. 5.1 rpg

54  Sean Carter C 6-9 Sr. 7.8 ppg. 6.2 bpg.

3 Chaz Williams G 5-9 Soph. 16.4 ppg. 6.4 apg

5 Jesse Morgan G 6-5 Soph. 9.8 ppg. 2.5 apg.

Coaches

TEMPLE

Fran Dunphy (444-226 career record)

MASSACHUSETTS

Derek Kellogg (60-63)

SERIES

The Owls have won three straight and six of the last eight series meetings. They hold a commanding, 43-20, series advantage.

LAST MEETING

Wyatt scored seven of his team-high 26 points in the extra session as Temple escaped with a 90-88 overtime victory on Feb. 29 at the Liacouras Center.

About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
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