AAC Preview: Temple Basketball Set to Face ECU on Wednesday
Looking to make it two regular season series sweeps in a row, Temple men's basketball heads to East Carolina (11-14, 3-9) for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday, Feb. 15 (ESPNews /1210 AM WPHT). The Owls (14-12, 5-8) are coming off a road win at Memphis that gave them a regular season series sweep of the Tigers, and they defeated East Carolina at home on Jan. 7.
American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week Quinton Rose scored 18 points in his first career start to lead Temple in its 74-62 win at Memphis on Feb. 12. The Owls let a 19-point lead get down to just three, but were able to hold off the Tigers in the final minutes.
Four different players have led Temple in scoring in the last five games. Sophomore Shizz Alston, Jr., who leads the team and ranks 10th in the league with 14.0 ppg, has led or tied for the team lead the most times this season (10 games). Senior Daniel Dingle tied his career high with 22 points in the Owls' recent win vs. USF (2/5), hitting a career-best 6-of-7 three-pointers. Dingle has now reached double figures in scoring in 14 of the last 16 games.
Overall, Temple is 13-1 when scoring at least 70 points, and just 1-11 when they fail to reach that plateau.
East Carolina lost six in a row during the stretch when the Owls won at home in early January, but the Pirates have since won two of their last five, defeating Tulsa and Tulane. Most recently, ECU lost 64-57 at USF which was the Bulls' first conference victory of the year.
Three players average in the low double figures for ECU, led by junior guard B.J. Tyson at 11.9 ppg. Graduate center Andre Washington is the team's leader on the glass with 7.6 rpg along with 72 blocks to lead The American. East Carolina went 12-20 last season with a 4-14 mark in conference play to tie for ninth, and returned just two starters from that squad.
Temple and East Carolina are meeting for the sixth time after beginning the all-time series in 2014-15. In an earlier meeting this season on January 7 at Temple, the Owls won 81-62 for their first conference victory.
The Owls had won three straight against ECU before falling in last year's second contest, 64-61 in Greenville on Jan. 27, 2016. Temple won last year's meeting at home, 78-60 on Jan. 9.