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Gameday Preview: Temple Owls at Ohio Bobcats

Temple Owls @ Ohio Bobcats
7:00 p.m. ET, Dec. 22, 2010
Convocation Center, Athens, Ohio

 

ALL-TIME:
Temple leads the all-time series 1-0

LAST TIME OUT:
11/29/2007 - Senior point guard Chris Clark hit the game-winning three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining to propel the Owls to a dramatic 90-88 victory over the Bobcats at the Liacouras Center. Dionte Christmas and Mark Tyndale scored 55 of the Owls' 90 points. Christmas scored 29 points, 21 of which came from beyond the arc. Tyndale notched 26 to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists. Leon Williams scored a game-high 31 points in defeat for the Bobcats, including two free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining to put Ohio ahead 88-87.

HEAD COACHES:
Temple
Fran Dunphy
Overall record: 402-214 (21 seasons)
Record at Temple: 92-51 (5 seasons)

Ohio
John Groce
Overall record: 43-37 (3 seasons; all with OU)

TOP PERFORMERS:
Temple:
PPG: G Ramone Moore - 14.7
RPG: F Lavoy Allen - 6.2
APG: G Juan Fernandez - 3.4

Ohio:
PPG: G D.J Cooper - 20.4
RPG: F Ivo Baltic - 6.3
APG: G D.J Cooper - 7.1

PROBABLE STARTERS:
Temple
Lavoy Allen F - 10.6 ppg 6.2 rpg 1.5 bpg
Scootie Randall F - 8.4 ppg 5.3 rpg .508 fg%
Micheal Eric F - 7.7 ppg 5.7 rpg 1.9 bpg
Juan Fernandez G - 10.1 ppg 3.5 rpg 3.4 apg
Ramone Moore G - 14.7 ppg 4.4 rpg 2.2 apg

Ohio
DeVaughn Washington F - 9.7 ppg 5.4 rpg 1.0 apg
Ivo Baltic F - 8.0 ppg 6.3 rpg .783 ft%
Tommy Freeman F - 10.1 ppg 1.3 apg .406 3p%
D.J. Cooper G - 20.4 ppg 5.9 rpg 7.1 apg
Ricardo Johnson G - 2.7 ppg 2.0 rpg 13.3 mpg

LAST OUTING:
Temple
Lavoy Allen (22) and Ramone Moore (21) combined to score just over half of the Owls total points as the Owls defeated the visiting Northern Illinois University Huskies 84-74. Xavier Silas, the nation's leading scorer at just over 28 points per game coming into the contest, notched 27 on 11 of 23 shooting. Temple never trailed in the game but NIU did keep the game interesting down the stretch as they got within eight points with just over two minutes to go. Junior Scootie Randall played all 40 minutes and scored 12 points despite a 4 for 11 shooting night.

Ohio
The Bobcats dropped a crazy four overtime game in Olean, NY to the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure, 112-107. D.J. Cooper scored 43 points and dished a game high 13 assists in 55 minutes of action. SBU's Andrew Nicholson scored a game high 44 including five in the fourth and final overtime. Tommy Freeman added 17 points and Ivo Baltic had 13 to go along with nine rebounds.

THE MATCHUP:
Temple is looking to win its sixth straight contest when they take on Ohio in Athens tonight. They will also be looking to complete the season sweep of the MAC as they currently stand 4-0 after victories against Toledo, Central Michigan, Akron and Northern Illinois.

This game shares some similarities with last Saturday's affair with NIU as the Bobcats feature one supremely talented guard, in this case sophomore D.J. Cooper, and a supporting cast of role players. Cooper is coming off just missing the extremely rare quadruple-double against St. Bonaventure (43 points, 13 assists, eight steals and eight rebounds) and will be a challenge for the Owls' perimeter defenders. Look for some combination of Scootie Randall and Rahlir Jefferson to be draw Cooper on the defensive end. Senior Tommy Freeman is the only other Bobcat who averages double-digits with 10.1 points per game. As a team, Ohio scores 73.5 points per game and allows 75.3 per game.

Much like NIU, the Bobcats do not have a lot of size which means that Lavoy Allen and Micheal Eric should be in line for a big game. Allen is coming off of a 22 and 7 game while Eric had 8 and 12 in just 12 minutes due to foul trouble. I strongly believe that if Eric played closer to his season average of 20 minutes then the Owls would have won by more than 10. Keeping both big men on the court for extended periods of time is key to tonight's game as it is the one area they hold a distinct edge over Ohio.

PREDICTION:
I have seen Temple listed as both an 8.5 and 10-point favorite. Both numbers are easily coverable as I think the Cherry and White will come out on fire after being chewed out by Fran Dunphy for their defensive lapses down the stretch against Northern Illinois. Temple 71, Ohio 55