St. Bonaventure-Temple Preview
It's unclear whether point guard Juan Fernandez will be available Wednesday night for Temple. He may not be needed, given the opponent.
The No. 19 Owls are 30-0 all-time at home against St. Bonaventure as they look for their 14th straight victory overall in the series.
Temple (11-3, 2-0 Atlantic 10) learned that Fernandez bruised his left knee in practice Friday. Coach Fran Dunphy gave Khalif Wyatt his first start in Sunday's 57-53 victory over Saint Louis, and the Owls shot a season-low 30.6 percent.
"I think Juan brings a lot," leading scorer Ramone Moore said. "Not having him out there, we had to make an early adjustment. But we gotta play through it, Juan, we're not sure how long he is going to be out. We gotta get used to playing without him out there."
Temple is 51-6 all-time against St. Bonaventure (9-5, 1-0), winning by an average of 20.1 points over the last 10 meetings. The Owls posted two 18-point victories over the Bonnies last season.
Fernandez was a major factor in those wins, averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 assists and helping the Owls shoot 50.4 percent.
Wyatt had seven points and no assists Sunday. The Owls had seven assists after averaging 17.0 over their previous five games.
"Granted we didn't have a guy who knows the game very well playing point guard for us today, I get that," Dunphy said. "But we have some other guys who know how to play. We just didn't work like we needed to efficiently today."
Moore matched his season average with 15 points, but missed 13 of 17 shots. Lavoy Allen missed 7 of 9 shots for four points after averaging 17.0 over his two previous games.
"I thought we didn't cut as hard as we needed to, we didn't set our screens as well as we needed to," Dunphy said. "There were a lot of deficiencies we had at the offensive end. We had some decent looks, but we couldn't make shots."
The Owls made 3 of 8 3-pointers, which is better than their 29.5 percent mark - the second-worst in the conference.
Temple is known more for its defense, which leads the A-10 in limiting foes to 38.6 percent shooting. The Owls have done well in the past in slowing down Bonnies star Andrew Nicholson, the conference's top scorer at 22.4 points per game.
The 6-foot-9 Nicholson averaged 10.5 points on 30.8 percent shooting in last season's games against Temple, which employed the 6-9 Allen and 6-11 Michael Eric against him.
Nicholson played the entire game and scored 34 points in Saturday's 92-88 triple-overtime win over Charlotte on Saturday. The Bonnies made 31 of 42 free throws compared to 8 of 9 for the 49ers.
"It was just a great college game," coach Mark Schmidt said. "Give our guys credit. We found a way and that's the bottom line."
St. Bonaventure may find it difficult to get to the line Wednesday since Temple concedes an average of 15.6 foul shots for the lowest mark in the A-10. The Bonnies are second in the league with 24.9 attempts per game.