Temple Owls

Temple primed for late season run; Penn looking for three in a row; Villanova eyes bounce back

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Temple primed for late season run; Penn looking for three in a row; Villanova eyes bounce back

Temple (4-5, 2-3 AAC) vs. Cincinnati (3-6, 1-4 AAC)
Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Last time out
Temple beat Navy, 34-26, on Thursday.

Cincinnati beat Tulane, 17-16, on Saturday.

Scouting report
Both teams are fighting to stay bowl eligible. An Owls' win would knock the Bearcats out of bowl contention and an Owls' loss would leave them with zero margin for error and a game against top-25 ranked UCF on the horizon.

Temple has played two solid offensive games in a row behind new starting QB Frank Nutile, who completed 22 of 30 passes for 289 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception in last week’s upset victory against Navy. Nutile will face a tough Bearcats' pass defense this weekend that gives up just 208 yards per game, which is second in the AAC, and has allowed 16 touchdowns on the season.

What it means
If Temple wants to have any chance to make a bowl game, they have to win two of their last three.

Series history
Temple owns the series lead 11-7-1 and has won the last two matchups between the teams, including a 34-13 blowout last year.

What’s next?
Temple hosts Central Florida.

Cincinnati travels to play East Carolina.

Penn (4-4, 2-3 Ivy) at Harvard (5-3, 3-2 Ivy)
Harvard Stadium, Boston, Massachusetts
12:00 p.m. Saturday

Last time out
Penn defeated Princeton, 38-35, Saturday.

Harvard defeated Columbia 21-14, Saturday.

Scouting report
The matchup to watch this weekend is the battle in the trenches. Harvard has a strong rush defense that is one of the best in the Ivy League and Penn’s rushing offense is second in the conference. Harvard allows only 102 yards per game on the ground, second in the conference. Penn rushes for 180 yards per game. Only Yale (230) averages more on a per game basis. Since Harvard has eight interceptions (second in the Ivy) this season, look for Penn to pound the football to try to add to its win total.

Series history
This is the 88th meeting between the teams. The Crimson hold a 48-37-2 advantage and the Quakers won 27-14 last season.

What’s next?
Penn hosts Cornell.

Harvard is at Yale.

Villanova (4-5, 2-4 CAA) at Rhode Island (2-7, 1-5 CAA)
Meade Stadium, Kingston, Rhode Island
12:00 p.m. Saturday

Last time out
Villanova lost to Richmond, 22-0, Saturday.

Rhode Island lost to James Madison, 38-3, Saturday.

Scouting report
Villanova is known this season for its run defense, which is the best in the Colonial. The Wildcats allow just 71 yards per game on the ground and Rhode Island is the 10th best rushing offense in the conference. The Rams, on the other hand, are one of the better passing offenses in the Colonial. They average 231 yards through the air, third best in the conference. Whoever can sustain success in their respective strength will come out on top in this matchup.

Series history
Villanova leads the series 19-3. The Wildcats won 35-0 last season.

What’s next?
Villanova hosts Delaware.

Rhode Island is at Towson.

Obi Enechionyia lifts Temple to Charleston Classic final

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Obi Enechionyia lifts Temple to Charleston Classic final


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Obi Enechionyia felt Temple was itching to get going at the Charleston Classic. That been evident in its run to the tournament finals.

Enechionyia had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Owls into the tournament title game with an 88-74 victory over the Tigers. Temple's season-opening game was a win over Old Dominion here Thursday as they eased into a long starting stretch that doesn't see them play a home game until Wisconsin on Dec. 6.

"I think it showed that we're ready to play in both games," Enechionyia said. "It wasn't a big deal to us, but I think it kind of helped us."

Temple (2-0) pulled away late from their Southeastern Conference opponent to move back into its second Charleston finals. And they may get the chance to avenge a loss to Clemson in that 2008 championship game -- the Clemson Tigers face Hofstra for the other spot in Sunday night's title contest.

"It's exciting," Enechionyia said. "It's like last year in the preseason NIT."

That's where Temple won the NIT Season Tip-Off event with an 81-77 victory over West Virginia in 2016. Temple coach Fran Dunphy hopes his team can channel those good experiences from last year this time around.

"Three games in four days, that's a lot of basketball," he said. "We need some rest."

Auburn will play the Hofstra-Clemson loser Sunday -- the tournament takes a college football break Saturday -- for third place.

Temple trailed the Tigers (2-1) on Jared Harper's basket with 10:17 to go. Shizz Alston Jr. hit a 3-pointer to put the Owls back in front -- the ball hit off the rim, bounded high in the air before falling through -- and Enechionyia gave them the lead for good with a pair of foul shots moments later. Auburn made one last charge when Mustapha Heron's 3 pulled the Tigers to 70-67. But Quinton Rose followed with a 3-pointer and Auburn never caught up.

Rose finished with 19 points off five 3-pointers. Alston had 18 points, 11 in the second half, for Temple.

Anfernee McLemore led Auburn with 19 points, but he also picked up a technical at a crucial juncture. His foul against Temple came from holding onto the rim for too long after a dunk and allowed Temple to quickly move back in front on Alston's two foul shots when McLemore had tied things at 48-all.

McLemore said the players ran out of gas down the stretch. "We just have to stay focused," he said. "We had mental lapses in the second half."

It was Enechionyia's first double-double of the season and fourth of his career.

The takeaway
Auburn: When the Tigers show up cold from the outside, it could be a long game. Auburn hit just 3 of 18 3-pointers in the opening half and the Tigers were generally off target throughout the first 20 minutes. Mustapha Heron was 1 of 9 including 0 of 4 from behind the arc. DeSean Murray and Bryce Brown were each 1 of 7. The numbers improved some in the second half (5 of 15 from three), but Tigers will have to find a better balance if they hope to compete in the Southeastern Conference.

Temple: The Owls were continually caught flat-footed by Auburn's guards, who found ways to get to the basket early -- even if the Tigers could not find the basket. Temple picked up its defense in the second half to pull away from the Tigers.

Tech problems
Auburn has picked up four technical fouls in two games.

Threes a plenty
Neither team was particularly crisp from long range. Temple hit 10 of 26 3-pointers (38.6 percent) while Auburn finished just 8 of 33 from behind the arc (24.8 percent). "We could've gotten better looks," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. "We didn't get to the foul line in the second half which was real key."

Up next
Auburn will play the Clemson-Hofstra loser on Sunday for third place.

Temple will face either Clemson or Hofstra for the tournament championship Sunday night. 

Temple rolls to season-opening win over Old Dominion

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Temple rolls to season-opening win over Old Dominion


CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Shizz Alston Jr. had 23 points on five 3-pointers and Quinton Rose added 20 points as Temple opened its season with a 76-65 victory over Old Dominion at the Charleston Classic on Thursday.

The Owls (1-0), who were the last Division I team to play their first game, will face Auburn of the Southeastern Conference on Friday for a spot in Sunday's championship game. Old Dominion (2-1) plays Indiana State in the loser's bracket of the eight-team event.

Temple led by 19 points early in the second half before the Monarchs rallied to within 54-53 on Ahmad Caver's tip-in basket with 9:19 to go. But Alston followed with a 3-pointer to extend Temple's lead.

Old Dominion came within 67-65 on Brandon Stith's bucket with 2:08 left. This time, Rose stroked a three on Temple's next possession and the Owls went on to the victory.

Xavier Green had 15 points to lead Old Dominion in its first-ever meeting with Temple.