Temple just became the true frontrunner of the Atlantic Ten Conference thanks to Micheal Eric.
The 6-foot-11 center provides an inside presence that will compliment the Owls standout guards in Ramone Moore, Khalif Wyatt and Juan Fernandez.
He proved it in Wednesday night’s 79-57 victory at Charlotte.
Eric had a huge impact in his second game back from a fractured right kneepcap.
The graduate student entered the game when Temple starter Anthony Lee picked up his second foul three minutes into the contest. Eric responded by recording all three of his blocked shots during his first four minutes of action.
For the game, he made 3 of 5 shots to finish with six points to go with nine rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes.
“The rust is still there,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy told the Sporting News, “but I thought in the second half he was much more himself, and certainly the guys are thrilled to have him back.”
The victory improved the Owls to 14-5 overall and 3-2 in the A-10 with the win. Temple takes a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s conference game against St. Joseph’s at the Liacouras Center.
Eric’s presence gives Temple the edge over the Hawks (13-8, 3-3). Afterward, the Owls will have three winnable A-10 games against Fordham, Rhode Island and George Washington before the conference showdown with Xavier on Feb. 11 at home.
Eric was averaging 10.5 points and 11.3 rebounds before missing 13 games with his injury.