Temple-Dayton Preview

BY foxsports • February 11, 2011

Temple ended a three-game losing streak to Dayton last season thanks greatly to how Lavoy Allen controlled the interior.

Allen may not be available for the No. 24 Owls in Saturday's rematch when they go on the road in search of a sixth straight victory.

Temple (18-5, 8-2 Atlantic 10) won a defensive struggle in its most recent matchup with Dayton (17-8, 5-5) and the only one from last season, 49-41 on Feb. 24. The Owls shot 32.1 percent and the Flyers finished at 26.3 - their lowest in conference play over the last 15 seasons.

Allen had nine points, 17 rebounds and three blocks to help offset Chris Wright's 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Allen and 6-8, 226-pound Wright may not renew their battle in the paint. Allen left Wednesday's 77-66 victory over Fordham with an apparent left ankle injury.

The Owls' leading rebounder left after grabbing a season-high 14 rebounds, double his average. He is listed as day to day.

"They'll put him in a cast tonight and see how he'll react," coach Fran Dunphy said. "I don't know. It's too soon to tell."

If Allen can't play, Rahlir Jefferson is a likely candidate to receive his first start. Jefferson, a sophomore forward, is averaging 23.1 minutes, 5.4 points and 5.0 boards off the bench.

Dunphy was concerned about his team's effort against the Rams, who have lost 36 straight A-10 games. Temple had an 18-point halftime lead cut to three before pulling away.

"It's a long season, and we've played now 23 games," Dunphy said. "I don't know that we've been able to be complacent in any game."

Ramone Moore had 22 points, increasing his team-leading average to 14.5 per game, and Scootie Randall and Michael Eric each added 12 as four Owls scored in double figures.

"I think that's the kind of team we've been all year long," Dunphy said. "We've spread the floor, spread the shots out."

Dayton missed a chance at its first three-game conference win streak with Wednesday's 67-53 loss at Rhode Island.

Wright had a rough game with nine points, four fouls and four rebounds. He averages a team-high 13.5 points and 8.5 boards - third-best in the Atlantic 10.

Freshman point guard Juwan Staten continues to endure growing pains after a six-point, three-assist performance. He's averaging 6.3 points on 26.5 percent shooting and 5.0 assists in his last four games since rejoining the starting lineup Jan. 30.

His counterpart for Temple, Juan Fernandez, is also struggling with his shot. Fernandez is averaging 6.0 points on 20.0 percent shooting in three games after missing the previous four with a knee injury.

"I think he'll be fine on Saturday," Dunphy said. "We're going to need him to be fine on Saturday. We need him to be really tough and really strong and really confident.

Fernandez has totaled nine points on 2-of-12 shooting in two games against Dayton.

The Owls boast the second-best defense in the conference, limiting foes to 40.5 percent shooting. The Flyers are the second-worst shooting team in the A-10 at 40.3 percent.

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