New York, NY (Sports Network) - The third-ranked Syracuse Orange put their
unblemished record on the line on Saturday afternoon, when they take on the
Temple Owls in a neutral site affair at Madison Square Garden as part of the
Fran Dunphy's Owls are an impressive 8-2 on the season and over the first nine
games of the year, had just one setback, that being a 90-67 loss at the hands
of currently top-ranked Duke. The Owls were able to string together a pair of
wins after the loss to the Blue Devils, but let a third straight win slip away
with a rather stunning 72-62 loss to Canisius on Wednesday.
Jim Boeheim's squad has yet to taste defeat on the year and is one of just
eight teams left without a loss on its record. The Orange moved to 10-0 on the
season with a 72-68 win over Detroit on Monday and in the process gave Boeheim
his 900th career win, just two wins shy of tying Bobby Knight for second place
all-time behind Mike Krzyzewski.
Syracuse holds a 16-13 advantage in the all-time series with Temple, but the
Owls won the last meeting, a 65-54 decision in the third-place game of the
2002 NIT at MSG.
The Orange got off to a fast start, shooting 55.6 percent from the floor in
the first half, heading into intermission with a 40-21 lead. The Titans fought
back after the break and made a game of it, but Syracuse was able to hold on
and deliver Boeheim his monumental victory. James Southerland led the way
offensively with 22 points, thanks in large part to a 5-of-8 showing from 3-
point range. Michael Carter-Williams had a strong outing as well, recording a
double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.
Syracuse has dominated at both ends of the floor, ranking second nationally in
scoring margin (+25.6). The team is averaging 83.4 ppg, while holding foes to
just 57.8 ppg and a meager .345 shooting (leads the nation). Southerland has
been outstanding coming off the bench, averaging a team-best 15.9 ppg. Brandon
Triche can also score at a high rate at 14.5 ppg. Carter-Williams is the
catalyst though, averaging 12.3 ppg, while leading the nation in assists (10.7
apg). C.J. Fair provides frontcourt balance with 11.3 points and a team-high
6.8 rebounds per game.
The Owls struggled with their perimeter shooting, converting just 4-of-28 from
behind the arc, including an ugly 2-of-16 in the second half, in a 10-point
loss at home to Canisius. Khalif Wyatt led four Owls in double figures with 17
points in the setback. Jake O'Brien added a season-high 14 points, while Will
Cummings and Anthony Lee chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Temple has been successful this season despite modest offensive numbers. The
team is averaging 70.1 ppg on the year, shooting .413 from the floor and a
meager .296 from 3-point range. Wyatt leads the team in both scoring (14.5
ppg) and assists (3.9 apg). Scootie Randall has been a huge part of the team's
success, making his presence felt after a washed-out season last year due to
injury. Randall is netting 13.7 ppg and is tops on the team in rebounding (7.5
rpg). Lee (10.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (9.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
bolster the play up front.
The Sports Network