Tonight in the City 6: Temple hosts Charlotte


Tonight in the City 6: Temple hosts Charlotte

There’s just about a month left until it’s tournament time, and no City 6 school has truly emerged as the top team. Yet five of the six still have realistic chances to go dancing (see story).

Wednesday, two of those teams will be in action:

Charlotte (17-4, 5-2 A-10) at Temple (14-7, 3-4)
7 p.m., Liacouras Center

Previous games
The Owls held a nine-point lead with under six minutes to go before they allowed St. Joe’s to go on an 18-5 run. Temple couldn’t stop the bleeding in time and fell to the Hawks at Hagan Arena, 70-69. Khalif Wyatt dropped a career-high 34 points and shot 7 for 14 from long range.

Charlotte kept its flawless home record intact when it escaped its matchup with UMass with a 66-65 victory. The 49ers shot just 39.7 percent from the field (to the Minutemen’s 49.0 percent), but they made it up at the free throw line, where they made 16 of 26 attempts compared to UMass’ dismal 6 of 16.

Top players
Wyatt isn’t just Temple’s top player, he’s been on fire lately, averaging 25.1 points over his last seven contests and earning an A-10 co-Player of the Week award. On the season, the 6-foot-4 senior puts up 18.6 points and 4.0 assists on a nightly basis.

Big man Anthony Lee leads the team in rebounding (7.8 per game) and field goal percentage (55.3 percent).

DeMario Mayfield leads Charlotte in scoring at 11.7 points per game, but he’s been suspended indefinitely since Jan. 30. Chris Braswell, a 6-foot-9 forward, is the only other man putting up double-digits, at 11.4 per game. He also averages 5.7 rebounds.

All-time series
Temple holds a 7-5 advantage in the series and has won the last two contests. The Owls are also a perfect 5-0 against the 49ers at the Liacouras Center.

St. Joe’s (13-7, 4-3 A-10) at Dayton (12-9, 2-5)
7 p.m., University of Dayton Arena

Previous games
As mentioned above, the Hawks beat Temple, 70-69, on Saturday at Hagan Arena. C.J. Aiken had the go-ahead layup with 25 seconds to go. Ronald Roberts Jr. recorded a double-double with teams high in points (18) and rebounds (12). Aiken and Carl Jones had 16 points apiece.

Dayton dropped its fifth straight decision on the road, getting clobbered by Saint Louis, 81-52. The Flyers turned the ball over 20 times and hit just three treys to the Billikens’ nine. The loss marked Dayton’s largest in A-10 play in 16 years.

Top players
Reigning Big 5 Player of the Week Carl Jones leads the way with 15.1 points per game. He averaged 17.7 points in wins and just 11.0 in losses.

Ronald Roberts Jr. has notched two consecutive double-doubles to bring his total to 10 for the season. In those games, the Hawks are 7-3.

For Dayton, Kevin Dillard leads the Flyers in just about everything: points (14.5), assists (4.7), steals (1.2), free throw percentage (86.7 percent) and minutes (32.1). He’s one of three players to average double-digits, the others being Vee Sanford (12.8) and Josh Benson (10.2).

All-time series
The Flyers are 18-13 against St. Joe’s and have taken seven straight tilts at UD Arena, with the Hawks’ last win coming in the 2000-01 season.

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

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Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

This is starting to become a trend. One Temple hopes to continue to prove wrong.

For the third straight year, Temple was chosen to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. The poll, which was released on Monday, is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

Also selected to finish sixth last season, the Owls posted a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the AAC to reach the NCAA Tournament. In 2014-15, TU tied for third in the AAC with a 13-5 record and was one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.

Cincinnati was tabbed to win the American title in the poll, just ahead of UConn.

Temple, who returns three starters from last season's team, opens the 2016-17 campaign against city rival La Salle at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 11.

After beating Ohio State, Penn State ranked for 1st time since 2011

After beating Ohio State, Penn State ranked for 1st time since 2011

After its signature win over Ohio State on Saturday night, Penn State finds itself ranked for the first time since 2011.

The Nittany Lions (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) are ranked No. 24 in the latest AP poll. The Lions stunned the Buckeyes, 24-21, on Saturday in a White Out at Beaver Stadium (see game story).

With the loss, Ohio State drops from No. 2 in the country to No. 6 (see full poll).

While head coach James Franklin sidestepped the signature win question after the game (see story), there is no question the Ohio State win is one that has been lacking in the Franklin era at State College. Even junior cornerback Grant Haley, who scored the go-ahead, 60-yard touchdown off a blocked field goal in the fourth quarter, believes it was much-needed too.

“It’s just a game that put Penn State back on the map," Haley said. "We needed that signature win, and we did it tonight."

Penn State heads to Purdue next Saturday for a noon kickoff against the Boilermakers.