The Owls have almost doubled La Salle in the all-time Philadelphia Big 5 series, holding a 71-40 advantage thanks to a six-game win streak that saw Temple post a 76-70 win in the most recent meeting on January 18th last month. The Owls managed to hit 51.9 percent of their field goals in the first encounter this season, which gave them the advantage as the Explorers shot 45.2 percent from the floor.
Fran Dunphy led his Owls to their 10th straight victory on Saturday as they took down the Duquesne Dukes, 78-59, to improve to 21-5 overall. Temple's win gave it sole possession of first place in the A-10 standings as it is an impressive 10-2 in league action. The Owls had a stellar shooting performance against Duquesne on Saturday, as they hit 57.7 percent of their field goals including 10-of-19 from beyond the arc to pick up the victory. Temple is second in the A-10 in scoring offense with an average of 75.5 ppg, and is allowing opponents to net 68.5 ppg on the defensive end.
Khalif Wyatt took over on Saturday as he led the Owls with 24 points on 11- of-17 shooting from the field. Wyatt is the team's second leading scorer for the season with an average of 17.0 ppg. Ramone Moore has been the go-to-guy with a conference leading average of 18.2 ppg. Juan Fernandez does a nice job running the show for Temple, as he is adding 11.5 points and 3.9 assists per game. The Owls are powered inside by Michael Eric and Rahlir Hollis- Jefferson's forward play.
The Explorers ended their three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 72-71 win over the Massachusetts Minutemen, which kept them three games back of Temple in the league standings with a 7-5 A-10 record. La Salle is 18-9 overall. Head coach Dr. John Giannini is one win away from breaking his career-high with the program, which has not seen postseason action during any of his previous seven seasons. La Salle's +8.5 scoring margin this season is second best in the A-10.
Ramon Galloway is a lights out shooter from long range for La Salle. The junior guard is tied for the team's lead with 14.7 ppg while ranking second in the conference in three-point percentage (.468) and made three-point field goals per game (2.5). Earl Pettis, Tyreek Duren, and Sam Mills all possess scoring averages in double figures as well, which makes the Explorers very difficult to defend. Devon White and Matt Sheehan provide energy from the bench for Giannini as well.