Two squads hoping to assert themselves as forces in the Atlantic-10 crack skulls on Saturday in the City of Brotherly Love, where the #15 Temple Owls (17-4, 12-9 ATS) look to keep the LaSalle Explorers (11-9, 5-10 ATS) at bay. LaSalle enters this game with a very unassuming 3-3 record in conference play, but considering that those losses were to Charlotte by two, Richmond by four, and Xavier by six, the Owls know that this is no walk in the park. As for those Owls, they’re still flying high at 5-1 in A-10 play, but that one loss came in their most recent NCAA basketball gambling affair, a 74-64 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday night.
If recent offensive form is any indicator, the Explorers should put up a good fight against Temple. They have scored at least 76 points in each of their L/3 games, averaging 79.3 per contest and shooting at least 55% from the floor in two of the three. Leading scorer G Rodney Green is having a heck of a year. He has scored in double digits in all but one game this year, and has tallied at least 13 in 18 of his 20 appearances. Green’s biggest bugaboo is that he turns the ball over too much, a trend that is becoming all too popular for LaSalle. He is averaging over four turnovers per game by himself.
Temple’s defense will look to shoot down LaSalle’s potent offense and will likely do so by forcing those turnovers. The Owls hold opponents to just 57.1 points per game, the seventh best mark in the NCAAs. Look out for the inside presence of F Lavoy Allen in this one. He is averaging a double-double on the season at 10.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and he can dominate in the post. There isn’t anyone on the Explorers that should be able to body with him, which could open up things on the outside for Gs Ryan Brooks (16.2 points per game) and Juan Fernandez (13.0 points per game).
Revenge will clearly be on Temple’s mind after it lost at home to the Explorers 70-63 last year. The Owls had covered three straight college basketball wagering lines against LaSalle prior to that defeat and are a solid 15-5 SU against it since 1996.
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