Owls' Allen honored by Big 5

It’s no secret that the play of sophomore forward Lavoy Allen, who needs to become more consistent, could be one of the biggest keys to Temple’s late-season aspirations.

Maybe he’s coming on at just the right time.

In his last two games, he averaged 18.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, scoring a career-high 23 in Sunday’s 68-62 home win over Rhode Island. For that, he was named the Big 5 Player of the Week for the first time today. It might not be his last.

The 6-9 Pennsbury High product is fourth in the Atlantic 10 in rebounding, at 7.8 per game, and leads the Owls (13-9, 6-3) with 35 blocks and a 56.8 field-goal percentage. On Thursday night, he will be going up against perhaps the top player in the A-10, when Temple takes on Ahmad Nivens and Saint Joseph’s (14-8, 7-1) at the Palestra.

It’s the first of two games between the teams that met last March for the conference title. The rematch is March 5 on North Broad Street. Not only is there obvious ramifications in the standings, but there’s a lot at stake individually as well. Temple’s Dionte Christmas, who’s trying to become the first guy to lead the A-10 in scoring three consecutive times, can state his case for Player of the Year, too.

Last season they split in the regular season, with each team winning by one on the road. The Owls won the third meeting by five in Atlantic City, but both advanced to the NCAA Tournament.