- Warmer weather is in store for Temple men's basketball this weekend, as the Owls (6-3) head south for the Hoophall Miami Invitational to play DePaul (5-2) at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 (ESPNU / 1210 AM WPHT). The meeting between Temple and DePaul will be the first in nearly 15 years.
Temple had a five-game win streak snapped by George Washington in a 66-63 loss on Wednesday night. The Owls came all the way back from a 15-point second-half deficit, but missed a final three-pointer at the buzzer.
The loss to GW came despite a season-high 12 three-pointers made by Temple. Senior Daniel Dingle
led the way with a team-high 14 points (four treys), including 12 points in the Owls' second-half comeback.
Temple's five game win streak included two victories over Top 25 teams, No. 25 Florida State and No. 19 West Virginia en route to winning the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament over Thanksgiving. The Owls are also 3-0 in Philadelphia Big 5 play, and will look to win the city series at No. 1/1 Villanova on Dec. 13.
Junior Obi Enechionyia
leads Temple and ranks third in The American with 19.0 points per game. He tied his career high for a second time this season with 26 points in a win at Saint Joseph's including 6-of-12 three-pointers. Enechionyia has scored in double figures in all nine games to start the season, including five games with 20 or more points. Sophomore guard Shizz Alston, Jr.
leads The American and ranks second in NCAA Division I with an assist/turnover ratio of 7.3 while also leading the league and ranking 38th in the nation with 2.2 steals per game.
DePaul is coming off an 80-61 win over Lamar on Dec. 6, and had won three straight in late November before an 80-64 loss at Northwestern. Eli Cain leads the Blue Demons and ranks fourth in the BIG EAST Conference with 19.4 points per game, while Tre'Darius McCallum is the team's leader on the boards with 7.3 rebounds per game.
Cain was one of just two returning starters for DePaul this season, along with senior Billy Garrett, Jr. who leads the team with 23 assists and is averaging 12.6 ppg. Garrett was named the 2014 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and both players picked up All-Freshman team recognition following their freshmen campaigns.
Temple has a narrow, 3-2 lead in the all-time series against DePaul. The two teams have not faced each other in 15 years, since the Owls lost 60-58 at home on Dec. 22, 2001. After winning the first meeting in 1953, Temple won back-to-back contests in January of 1997 (73-60) and December of 1997 (74-43). The Owls were ranked 20th in the second of those meetings. DePaul has since won two straight, one in the 2000-01 season and the second in 2001-02.