Temple-Duquesne Preview

Three-time defending Atlantic-10 champion Temple continues to

roll due to impressive efforts on both sides of the court.

Looking to start 4-0 in conference play in back-to-back seasons,

the 19th-ranked Owls will try for a fifth straight win over

Duquesne as they travel to the A.J. Palumbo Center on Saturday.

Temple (12-3, 3-0) defeated St. Bonaventure 83-55 on Wednesday

night as all five starters scored in double figures – including

Khalif Wyatt, who started in place of injured point guard Juan

Fernandez for the second consecutive game.

“I felt a lot more comfortable today than Sunday making my first

start,” said Wyatt, who recorded career highs with 15 points and

six assists after scoring seven points without an assist in a 57-53

win over Saint Louis. “My teammates encouraged me all week to be

prepared and I came out more comfortable. You never know when

they’re going to need you to step up.”

Ramone Moore, leading the team with 15.3 points per game, scored

19 as Temple registered its second-highest scoring output of the

season. He scored 15 on 5 of 7 shooting in a 76-60 win over

Duquesne on Feb. 3.

The Owls are limiting teams to a conference-low 58.4 points per

game and just 53.0 points in their 3-0 conference start.

“Their defense carries them but when they combine it with the

way the shot, you see why they’re No. 19 in the country,” Bonnies

coach Mark Schmidt said. “When they’re shooting like that, they’re

really tough.”

Fernandez suffered a bone bruise on his left knee Jan. 7 in

practice and his status for Saturday is unknown. He averaged 17.5

points in his last two games prior to getting hurt.

Since losing both meetings during the 1994-95 season, the Owls

have taken 15 of 17 from the Dukes – outscoring them by an average

of 19.0 points in the victories.

It’s been a different story on the road, though, as Temple has

alternated wins and losses against Duquesne (10-5, 2-0) in the last

five matchups, with the last four decided by seven or fewer

points.

“Duquesne is a very good team, they had another real good win

(Wednesday),” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “It will be a tough

test for us Saturday”

The Dukes are hoping to increase their season-best winning

streak to six games following a 67-45 win over the Billikens, and

are on the verge of matching the school’s best start in conference

play.

The 45 points surrendered were the fewest during a conference

game since a 42-40 loss at George Washington on Dec. 12, 1981.

Duquesne leads the Atlantic-10 with 80.9 points per game and has

outscored its opponents by 20.0 points during its five-game run –

its longest in three years.

Bill Clark is averaging a team-best 16.6 points but was held to

a season low-tying five in the win.

The Dukes are shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point range in their

last three contests, but could struggle from long distance against

the Owls, who are holding teams to 31.4 percent from beyond the

arc.

Temple’s three losses have come by a combined 14 points.

Duquesne is 1-27 in its last 28 games versus ranked programs.