Temple (3-0) at Buffalo (2-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Arena (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: Time Warner Sports Channel. Home Record: Temple 2-0, Buffalo 1-1. Away Record: Temple 1-0, Buffalo 1-2. Neutral Record: Temple 0-0, Buffalo 0-2. Conference Record:Temple 0-0, Buffalo 0-0. Series Record: Temple leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The Temple Owls will put their early season perfect record on the line as they storm into Alumni Arena for non-conference action with the Buffalo Bulls.
Fran Dunphy's Owls improved to 3-0 on Sunday by holding off the Delaware Blue Hens for an 80-75 win at home. Temple opened up the season with an 80-66 victory over Kent State before returning back to Philadelphia to down Rice by 14 points. The team has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 11 points to get off to its best start since the 2000-01 season.
Buffalo improved to 2-5 with an easy 76-57 win over Mansfield of Division II. The victory snapped a three-game losing slide which consisted of setbacks to Western Illinois (67-58) and Yale (63-59) at home in addition to a seven-point road loss at Canisius. Coach Reggie Witherspoon's team has hurt itself consistently with an average of 18 turnovers per game versus Division I opposition. Evansville is the only Division I program the Bulls have managed to take down so far.
This will be the seventh meeting between the Bulls and Owls. Temple holds a 4-2 edge in the all-time series after its 87-85 double-overtime victory in last season's meeting in Philadelphia.
The Owls visited another MAC program for their only game outside of Philadelphia to tip-off their season. Despite being outrebounded 44-30 in the contest, they cruised to a 14-point win over the Golden Flashes by putting on a shooting clinic with 27 makes on 51 field goal attempts. Temple was not as efficient its next time out and had to overcome a 4-of-26 shooting clip from three-point range to defeat Rice, but it bounced back with 11 makes from distance to fend off Delaware. Scootie Randall has paved the path to three wins by averaging a team-high 21.7 ppg. Khalif Wyatt is second on the squad with 14.7 ppg, while Anthony Lee (12.7) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (10.3) are both carrying double-digit scoring averages and field goal percentages above 70 percent.
Buffalo led the MAC in scoring last season with 73 points per game, but it is generating only 62 ppg this through seven games this season. The Bulls have already been held under 40 percent shooting three times this season. They are a very good rebounding team with a +5.8 average margin on the boards. Junior forward Javon McCrea leads the team with 17 points and 6.1 boards per contest. Junior guard Jarod Oldham is second on the team in scoring (9.3) after making a team-best nine shots from distance. Will Regan is chipping in 9.1 ppg as well, but the team's remaining starters Corey Raley-Ross and Auraum Nuiriankh are coming to produce just 6.3 ppg.
Buffalo's recent win over Mansfield may be what it needed to build some confidence. The Bulls are not as bad as their record indicates and will go on a run at some point. However, the Owls are not an easy team to take down with the Randall-Wyatt combination proving to be a very difficult combination to slow down.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Temple 74, Buffalo 66
11/28 10:33:27 ET