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(23) SMU (20-5) at Temple (6-17)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 16, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Liacouras Center (10,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: SMU 13-0, Temple 2-7. Away Record: SMU 5-4, Temple 1-7. Neutral Record: SMU 2-1, Temple 3-3. Conference Record: SMU 9-3, Temple 1-10. Series Record: Series is tied, 2-2.

GAME NOTES: With wins in four straight games, the 23rd-ranked SMU Mustangs ride into the Liacouras Center for an American Athletic Conference clash with the Temple Owls.

In just his second season as head coach, Larry Brown has pushed SMU into the national spotlight, as the Mustangs are nationally ranked for the first time since 1985. They are a sparkling 20-5 overall and well within range of first- place Cincinnati in the AAC standings (9-3). A visit to in-state rival Houston is next on the docket.

On the other side, perennial NCAA Tournament participant Temple is having quite an off year. The Owls are just 6-17 overall, with one win in 10 tries against the rest of the conference. They have lost four straight, including an ugly 82-58 rout against 13th-ranked Louisville on Friday night. They finish this difficult homestand with a bout against 24th-ranked Connecticut on Thursday.

In the first meeting between these teams as conference foes on Feb. 2, SMU ran away with a 75-52 victory, tying the all-time series at 2-2.

SMU was also in action on Friday night, earning a 77-65 road win over Rutgers. Nic Moore scored a game-high 21 points and Nick Russell added 16 in the contest, as the Mustangs shot 49 percent from the floor, including an 8-of-18 effort from 3-point range.

The Mustangs' game plan is simple; play tough defense and don't settle for bad shots on offense. They have executed both to near-perfection this season, limiting foes to 61.2 ppg and 36.9 percent shooting, the second-best mark in the country. Then, on offense, they sink an AAC-leading 49.5 percent of their shots from the floor. Moore (14 ppg, 4.7 apg) is the playmaker for the unit, leading in scoring and assists, while draining 48.9 percent from the field. MarKus Kennedy (11.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg) provides some punch on the interior and Russell (8.9 ppg, 3.3 apg) helps out on the wings.

Temple was clearly the inferior team in Friday's matchup with Louisville. The Owls only connected on 37.3 percent of their shots from the field on their home floor. They were also outscored, 42-26, in the paint. Will Cummings scored 16 points to pace the losing effort.

Fran Dunphy's team really hasn't done too badly on offense this season, netting a respectable 74.3 ppg. However, the Owls have been uncharacteristically weak on defense, allowing 78 ppg and 46.7 percent shooting to the opposition. Dunphy, as always, relies on a small rotation, with Dalton Pepper (17 ppg), Cummings (16.3 ppg, 4.2 apg), Quenton DeCosey (14.9 ppg) and Anthony Lee (14 ppg, 8.9 rpg) getting the bulk of the minutes and the chances to produce. Pepper is fourth in the AAC in scoring and Cummings is fifth. However, Pepper tallied only seven points against the Cardinals. Lee tops the league on the boards, but he managed all of three rebounds on Friday.

The way SMU plays lends itself to travel, as the Mustangs make sure to limit foes and keep their own mistakes to a minimum. Such a strategy should prove to be effective against a Temple team that does not defend well.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 78, Temple 72

02/16 10:34:10 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21