DURHAM, NC - The release of the national rankings on Monday made the Owls' most anticipated road trip of the season a little more thrilling, as #24/24 Temple travels to Durham, NC to take on the nation's top ranked team, the Duke Blue Devils, Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium (7:00 p.m./ESPN2/1210 AM WPHT).
Temple extended its season best win streak to eight games with its 21st consecutive home win on Sunday, a 66-52 victory over Saint Joseph's, to improve to 21-5 overall, 11-2 in A-10 play. It was a milestone moment for senior forward Lavoy Allen, who collected 12 rebounds in the contest to move into first place on the all-time Temple rebounding list (1,045). Allen tops the Owls in rebounding (7.2 rpg) and recorded his sixth double-double of the season.
Junior forward Scootie Randall (11.6 ppg.), one of the hottest players in the league (17.8 ppg.- last 8 games), missed the Saint Joseph's game with a right foot injury. His status is uncertain for Wednesday's game. Classmate Juan Fernandez (10.1 ppg,), who leads the team in assists (3.9 apg.), has appeared to have regained his shooting stroke, scoring in double figures in the last two games while making 12-of-17 field goal attempts.
Sophomore forward Rahlir Jefferson (5.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg.) made his third career start against the Hawks, scoring 11 points and pulling down six boards. Sophomore guard Khalif Wyatt, a candidate for A-10 Sixth Man of the Year, gives the Owls a spark off the bench with his 9.1 points per game and team-leading 42.3 percent from three-point range. Freshman Aaron Brown made his first career start against the Hawks, filling in for Randall with two assists in eight minutes.
Top-ranked Duke (25-2, 12-1 ACC) owns the nation's longest current home win streak at 34 games, extending that run with a 79-57 victory over Georgia Tech on Sunday night. Senior guard Nolan Smith (21.7 ppg.), crowned ACC Player of the Week on Monday, leads the Blue Devils and ranks 10th in the nation in scoring. Freshman guard Kyrie Irving (17.4 ppg.) and senior forward Kyle Singler (16.8 ppg.) also average double-figures, while soph. forward Mason Plumlee paces Duke in rebounding (8.7 rpg.).
Duke owns an eight game win streak against Temple, with the all-time series favoring the Blue Devils, 17-9. Five of the last eight times the teams have met, Duke has been ranked first nationally with the Blue Devils winning each encounter.