This is an important night for Temple.
And it isn’t just because the 23d-ranked Owls will honor seniors guards Juan Fernandez and Jake Godino, fifth-year senior guard Ramone Moore and graduate-student center Micheal Eric on Senior Night.
Fans will also see how Temple’s responds after losing to St. Joseph’s when it hosts Massachusetts in Wednesday night’s final game of the season at the Liacouras Center.
An 18-point favorite, will the Owls get the expected win? Or win lost back-to-back games for the first time since to La Salle on Feb. 26, 2009 and Dayton on Feb, 28, 2009?
A victory would give Temple at least a share of their second A-10 regular-season title in three seasons. It would also give the Owls the No.1 seed in next week’s A-10 tourney.
Here’s a look at the probable starters, coaches’ records and series information:
TEMPLE (22-6, 11-3 A-10)
32 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson F 6-6 Jr. 9.1 ppg. 6.5 rpg.
50 Micheal Eric F 6-11 Gr. 8.5 ppg. 8.5 rpg.
4 Juan Fernandez G 6-4 Sr. 10.9 ppg. 4 apg.
1 Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Jr. 17.1 ppg. 2.1 spg.
10 Ramon Moore G 6-4 Sr. 18 ppg. 3.4 apg.
MASSACHUSETTS (19-9, 8-6)
34 Raphiael Putney F 6-9 Soph. 10.1 ppg. 5.6 rpg.
33 Terrell Vinson F 6-8 Jr. 9.3 ppg. 5.5 rpg
54 Sean Carter C 6-9 Sr. 7.4 ppg. 6.2 bpg.
3 Chaz Williams G 5-9 Soph. 15.8 ppg. 6.8 apg
5 Jesse Morgan G 6-5 Soph. 9 ppg. 2.5 apg.
Fran Dunphy (442-226 career record)
Derek Kellogg (39-53)
The Owls have won two straight and five of the last seven series meetings. They holding a commanding, 42-20, series advantage.
Former Owls standout Lavoy Allen had 14 points and a season-high 18 rebounds to lift Temple to a 73-67 victory on March 2, 2011.