Big 5 Opener: Penn Hosts Temple at the Palestra, Owls' Wyatt to Sit

Big 5 Opener: Penn Hosts Temple at the Palestra, Owls' Wyatt to Sit

Your Penn-Temple preview on the way just as soon as I can wrap my head around being able to watch something on replay at the Palestra...

The University of Pennsylvania Quakers are off to a 1-0 start after a 59-45 victory over the UMBC Retrievers on Friday night. Tonight's match up will be the Quakers' 2011-2012 home opener and the Owls' first game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m and can be heard 1210 AM.

As discussed in our Big 5 preview from last week, Penn is led by the veteran back court of seniors Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernadini. Spearheading the effort against UMBC, Rosen finished with a game-high 26 points, going 10-16 from the field, 4-5 from three, and chipping in 4 boards, 3 helpers and 3 takeaways. Bernadini, on the other hand, struggled to find his shot. He would finish just 3-10 shooting and 1-6 from behind the arc.

Standing opposed are the Temple University Owls, led by an equally experienced tandem of guards in Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore. With Scootie Randall still recovering from a torn meniscus, the starting five figures to feature Fernandez, Moore, Aaron Brown, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and Michael Eric. Junior guard Khalif Wyatt tweeted earlier this afternoon that he will not be not be playing tonight. An source has since confirmed the tweet, breaking the news that Khalif is serving a one-game suspension for a "minor internal matter."

With Wyatt out of the mix and the rest of the guards getting after each other at both ends, look for Temple to try involve center Michael Eric in the offense. Penn doesn't have anyone who can match his height or physical presence, meaning the 6-10 Eric should have a good opportunity to show off all the work he's put in to his offensive game. The same goes for the 6-9 Anthony Lee, who will be playing his first game in a Temple uniform.

As an aside, if any of you noticed an irregularity in the Temple starting line-up, junior forward Rahlir Jefferson is, as it reads, no longer Rahlir Jefferson. Instead, he has added his mother's last name to his own, opting to go with the hyphenated approach as a tribute and thank you for all that she has done for him. I remember Rahlir's first game as a Temple Owl in the team's  season opener on the road at Delaware in 2009. When her son came off the bench for his very first taste of college basketball, I had not to that point in my life heard any woman scream that loud for any reason. It's a nice story and a nice touch.

One other change for the Owls, Ramone Moore will no longer be wearing his trademark No. 23. He will now be wearing No. 10 as tribute of his own. Unfortunately, the motivation for the change is a much sadder story. Moore lost his 10-year-old cousin Zaire to a car accident this past Summer. For more on Ramone's relationship to his late, and all-too-young, family member click here.

Players to Watch Tonight:
For Penn, sophomore Miles Cartwright started in 19 games for the Quakers last season as a true freshman. He finished fourth in scoring behind Rosen, Bernadini and the now graduated Jack Eggleston. Along with fellow sophomore and Archbishop Wood product Fran Dougherty, the two figure to be the immediate future of the program once Bernadini and Rosen (finally) finish up their eligibility at year's end.

For Temple, red-shirt freshman Anthony Lee could prove critical to the Owls' success this season. Undersized and inexperienced in the front court, Temple will need the power forward to help fill the void left by Lavoy Allen. Lee figures to split time at the four this season with the 6-6 Jefferson. Their contributions will be key in Temple's quest to win its fourth A10 title in the past five seasons and to move on to the Sweet 16 after breaking through with the program's first NCAA tournament win in ten years last March.

Relevant History:
All-time Series: Temple leads 44-22
At Penn: Temple leads 27-6
Streak: Temple has won last four in a row
Last Meeting: The Owls defeated the Quakers by a final score 73-56 (1/19/11, Liacouras Center). Temple's Khalif Wyatt came off the bench to score a career-high 27 points in the Owls' victory.

See you post-game.

Scoreboard photo courtesy The Pheisty Fans from the Battle of I-95

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.

Wade nailed a 3 from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season (see full recap).

New-look Hawks roll past Wizards
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards in their season opener Thursday night.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new center, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

But Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks, when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

Best of NHL: Canadiens rally past Lightning for 6th straight win

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty scored the tiebreaking goal in Montreal's three-goal third period as the Canadiens beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Thursday night for their sixth straight win.

Alex Galchenyuk and Torrey Mitchell also scored to help Montreal improve to 7-0-1. Carey Price made 29 saves to win for the fourth time in four starts this season.

Alex Killorn scored the lone goal for the Lightning, who lost against an Eastern-Conference opponent for the first time this season. Ben Bishop stopped 23 shots.

With the scored tied 1-1, Pacioretty got the go-ahead goal at 10:23 by beating Bishop glove-side. Blown coverage by the Lightning left the Canadiens' captain all alone on the edge of the face-off circle, and Bishop couldn't see the shot with Andrew Shaw posted firmly in front of goal.

Montreal remains the only NHL team still undefeated in regulation (see full recap).

Crosby's late goal gives Penguins win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored -- each getting his third of the season -- to help the Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.

Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots while starting for the eighth straight game.

Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, and Halak finished with 31 saves (see full recap).

Streaking Red Wings win marathon shootout vs. Blues
ST. LOUIS -- Henrik Zetterberg scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Zetterberg's goal gave the Red Wings a six-game winning streak.

In the shootout, St. Louis' first shooter, Alexander Steen, scored but then Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, Nail Yakupoc, Robby Fabbri, Patrick Burgland and Dmitrjij Jaskin all came up short.

Gustav Nyquist scored on Detroit's second attempt but Frans Nielsen, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan and Darren Helm all missed.

St. Louis had the better chances in overtime. Center Jaden Schwartz missed a wide-open net early in the extra session. Jori Lehtera was stopped on a breakaway midway through the period by Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek (see full recap).