Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Enjoying a six-game win streak, the Temple
Owls are set to close out the 2012-13 regular-season on Sunday afternoon as
they host the 21st-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams in Atlantic 10 Conference
action at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls also started off the season with a six-game win streak, so the team
is peaking at just the right time with the A-10 Conference Tournament just
around the corner. On Wednesday night, Temple went to Fordham and blew the
doors off the Rams in a 74-55 final, which means the Owls have now won eight
of the last nine and are 10-5 in conference play.
VCU was also in action earlier this week with a home date against Richmond,
resulting in a 93-82 victory in order to move to 12-3 in league action, which
has the Rams up near the top of the standings. The triumph was the third in a
row and the ninth in the last 10 outings overall for VCU.
With VCU being one of the latest additions to the A-10, this meeting is
actually the first-ever between the schools on the hardwood.
The Rams went from shooting 48.5 percent from the field in the first half
against Richmond to converting 63.6 percent in the second half, in order to
keep pace. More importantly, VCU was highly successful at the free-throw line
on the night (28-of-36) compared to the Spiders who knocked down 11-of-15 at
the charity stripe. Treveon Graham led five players in double figures with his
21 points, followed by fellow starters Juvonte Reddic and Darius Theus with 16
and 13 points, respectively. Off the bench Rob Brandenberg pitched in with 12
points and Melvin Johnson 11 for the hosts.
On the average, the Rams have been crushing the competition on the scoring
department this season, winning games by a margin of more than 14 ppg. Graham
has a lot to do with that success as he heads a list of four double-digit
scorers with his 15.7 ppg. Coming up behind is Reddic (14.3 ppg) thanks to his
57.3 percent shooting from the floor. Reddic is also first on the unit with
better than eight rebounds per contest. While Reddic maintains a presence in
the paint, Troy Daniels (12.4 ppg) is the one out on the perimeter connecting
on 3.5 3-point baskets per game at a 40.5 percent clip.
Khalif Wyatt shot only 4-of-11 from the floor against Fordham on the road, but
he converted a perfect 10-of-10 at the free-throw line and ended up with a
double-double consisting of 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the
victory over the Rams at Rose Hill Gym. Also posting a double-double for the
visitors was Anthony Lee with 12 points and 10 boards, while Scootie Randall
and Jake O'Brien pitched in with 14 and 10 points, respectively, for a squad
that easily survived just 2-of-14 shooting beyond the arc.
In conference games the Owls don't leave much room for error, at least on the
average, as they score 72.7 ppg but give up 69.1 ppg. Wyatt has been a one-man
wrecking ball at the offensive end of the floor with not only 21.9 ppg,
stemming from 38.0 percent shooting beyond the arc, he is also first on the
unit with 60 assists through 15 contests as he continues to keep his teammates
involved in the action. Randall (11.1 ppg) and Lee (10.1 ppg) have combined
for more than 12 rpg, although the latter doesn't always seem to know what to
do with the ball since he has just a single assist in 14 league starts.
The Sports Network