Saint Joseph’s-Temple Preview

Fran Dunphy should be pleased the way his Temple squad has

played over the last three weeks. The Owls certainly have been at

their best against Saint Joseph’s of late.

Looking to extend their season-high winning streak to eight

games, the No. 23 Owls try for a ninth consecutive victory over the

visiting Hawks in Sunday’s Atlantic 10 matchup between the Big 5

rivals.

Temple (20-5, 10-2) has won by an average margin of 12.5 points

during its current winning stretch, including a 72-54 rout of Saint

Joseph’s at The Palestra on Jan. 29.

The Owls enter this rematch with the struggling Hawks (7-18,

2-9) coming off a dominating 73-53 win over Richmond on Thursday.

Ramone Moore scored 24 points and backcourt mate Juan Fernandez

added 20 on 9-of-10 shooting as Temple shot 55.6 percent and

extended its home win streak to 20 games.

“We’re in a nice stretch here, but we’ve got a long way to go,”

Dunphy said.

Dunphy does not want his team to become complacent, especially

with another rivalry game on tap.

“I’ll watch (Thursday’s) game and I’ll think about how well we

played and some things I think we can do a little better,” Dunphy

said.

The Owls have held the Hawks to 58.8 points per game and 35.7

percent in their eight wins over Saint Joseph’s since a 68-67 home

loss Jan. 26, 2008.

Temple forward Scootie Randall had 17 points at The Palestra

last month. The junior has averaged 17.4 points on 55.2 percent

shooting his last eight games.

The Owls also could use another big effort from Fernandez, the

most outstanding player of last season’s A-10 tournament. He has

been plagued by a knee injury that forced him to miss four games,

including last month’s win at Saint Joseph’s.

Shooting just 35.8 percent and averaging 10.1 points, Fernandez

hopes his performance versus Richmond is the start of something

positive.

“You miss (shots) because you think too much,” Fernandez said.

“You’ve got to grab the ball and throw it up there without

thinking. Hopefully it’s the start of something new,

personally.”

That would be beneficial to the Owls, who lost starting center

Micheal Eric (7.1 points, 5.9 rebounds per game) for the season

with a fractured right patella suffered earlier in the week.

“You don’t worry about the team,” Dunphy said. “The team has

this resiliency about them.”

Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli likely needs to see more

resiliency from his undermanned group.

The Hawks are without center Todd O’Brien because of his failure

to comply with the university’s community standards and guard

Patrick Swilling for his violation of the school’s code of conduct.

Key reserve Justin Crosgile is on a leave of absence from the

team.

After winning its previous two contests, Saint Joseph’s looks to

bounce back after shooting a season-low 30.9 percent in Wednesday’s

74-54 loss to No. 24 Xavier.

Guard Carl Jones ranks among the A-10 leaders averaging 17.4

points, but was held to a season-low six on 1-of-8 shooting versus

Xavier. The sophomore had 19 against Temple last month.

While Temple is 3-1 against Big 5 opponents in 2010-11, the

Hawks are trying to avoid going 0-4 in the city series for the

first time since 1977-78.