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PHILADELPHIA- A "new look" Temple men's basketball team will make its home debut in a "new look" Liacouras Center Saturday night when the Cherry and White hosts the Rice Owls (8:00 p.m./OwlAccess/1210 AM WPHT). Temple women's basketball team (2-1) opens the evening with a game against Northeastern (5:00 p.m./OwlAccess). It is Temple's only men's/women's doubleheader of the season.
Temple coach Fran Dunphy has three new starters in his lineup from season's 24-8 Owls team that won its record 10th Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championship. They will perform in the Liacouras Center which features a brand new state of the art video board that will clearly enhance the fan experience in the venue.
Temple (1-0) opened its season Tuesday with an impressive 80-66 win at Kent State. The game was part of the 2012 ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Scootie Randall had a career day in his return to the Temple lineup after missing all of the 2011-12 season to a knee injury. The 6-6 senior swingman set career-highs with 31 points and four steals in the contest. Sophomore forward Anthony Lee added a career-best 16 points and eight rebounds while senior guard Khalif Wyatt and graduate guard T.J. DiLeo each added nine points.
Dunphy utilized a lineup that included returning starters Wyatt and senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson along with sophomore guard Will Cummings, Lee and Randall. DiLeo tied for the most minutes off the bench (23) with junior transfer Dalton Pepper while graduate forward Jake O'Brien rounded out the eight-man rotation employed in the contest. Freshmen Quenton DeCosey and Devontae Watson each saw action in the final minute.
Freshman guard Max Guercy has made an immediate impact for fourth-year coach Ben Braun's squad. Guercy leads Rice (1-1) in scoring (14.5 ppg.) and assists (5) while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. Senior guard Tamir Jackson and sophomore forward Seth Gearhart also average double figure with both scoring at a 12.5 points per game clip.
Temple has won both meetings against Rice with the last a 77-70 victory in Houston on December 19, 2011.