Philadelphia Rivals Collide: A look at Temple-Villanova

Temple Owls at Villanova Wildcats, The Pavilion, Villanova, PA
Thursday, December 30, 2010, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Villanova -6
Current Line: Villanova -5 1/2
Opening Total: 130 1/2
Current Total: 130 1/2
Money Line: Villanova -250 / Temple +210

Corey Fisher and the Villanova Wildcats take on crosstown rival Temple. The Wildcats are a 5 1/2 point favorite at home.

The 25th ranked 9-2 Temple Owls take on the 8th ranked 10-1 Villanova Wildcats in a crosstown Big 5 rivalry game. There is a lot of buzz in Philadelphia about this game as both are nationally ranked. Last year Temple upset then #3 ranked Villanova 75-65, The win propelled Temple to an Atlantic 10 championship run, and was Villanova’s only blemish in a 20-1 start to the season. Temple lost two games in a tournament in Orlando Thanksgiving weekend to California and Texas A&M. Since then Temple has won 6 in a row including wins over Maryland and Georgetown. The Owls also have wins over Seton Hall and Georgia on the season. Villanova lost in the championship of the pre-season NIT to Tennessee. They have won 5 in a row including victories over the other three big 5 schools, St. Joseph’s, Penn, and LaSalle. The most impressive win on the season is over UCLA also in the NIT in New York. Villanova has won 42 straight at home and Temple hasn’t won at Villanova since 1990. Temple is 30-16 ATS in all games the last two seasons. Temple is also 18-9 ATS after a non-conference game in the last two seasons, and 20-10 ATS versus teams with winning records in the same span.

Temple is outscoring opponents 68-58 on the season. The Owls shoot 46.4% from the field and only 27% from 3 point range. The Owls are holding opponents to 37.7% shooting from the field. The Owls are shooting 63.4% from the free throw line. Ramone Moore leads the Owls in scoring with 14.9 ppg. He also averages 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game. Lavoy Allen is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.8 a  game. He also averages 10.2 ppg, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks a game. Michael Eric leads the team in blocks with 1.8 a game and Rahlir Jefferson leads the team in steals with 1.3 a game. Five Owls average more than 1 steal a game. Juan Fernandez  leads the team in assists with 3.9 a game and is scoring 9.8 ppg. Temple is averaging 36.8 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +3.9. They average 14.5 assists and 11.9 turnovers a game. The Owls  force 13.8 turnovers a game on defense. Temple averages 7.5 steals and 4.5 blocks a game.

Villanova is outscoring opponents 77-59 on the season. The Wildcats are led by the two Coreys (no, not Haim and Feldman but guards Stokes and Fisher.) Stokes leads the team in scoring with 15.7 ppg. He is also averaging 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Fisher is scoring 15.5 points a game and leads the team in assists with 4.9 a game and steals with 1.7 a game. He also pulls down 3.2 rebounds a game. Guard Maalik Wayns scores 12.4 ppg and also averages 3.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists a game. Forward Antonio Pena scores 10.2 points a game and also averages 7.5 rebounds a game. Forward/center Mouphtaou Yarou leads the team in rebounds with 8.1 a game. Yarou and Pena are tied for the team lead in blocks with 1.1 a game. The Wildcats are shooting 44.9% from the field and 31.5% from 3 point range. Wildcat opponents are shooting 36.6% from the field. Villanova averages 41.4 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +9.0. The Wildcats average 15.7 assists and 11.8 turnovers a game On defense, the Wildcats force 13.2 turnovers a game. They average 7.2 steals and 4.8 blocks a game.

Temple sometimes struggles on offense, especially from 3 point range. Villanova isn’t that great at shooting threes either, but they are better than Temple. Temple is trying for it’s second victory in December over a top ten ranked Big East member after beating Georgetown a couple of weeks ago. Both of these teams are excellent defensively and it wouldn’t surprise me if they played in the low 60’s. Temple can’t run with Villanova and must slow the tempo down.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot as conference play begins around the country. Don’t miss out on anymore winners this season.

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