Home » Men’s Basketball Returns Home To Face Bloomsburg – Temple

Men’s Basketball Returns Home To Face Bloomsburg – Temple

Game Info: Wednesday, December 6, 2023 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Liacouras Center – Philadelphia, Pa.
Watch: ESPN+ | Listen: 1210 WPHT | Live Stats: Owlsports.com

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Promotions

Fans that bring a new unwrapped toy to the game will receive $5 off their ticket. Toys will be donated to Shriners Philadelphia. 

Opening Tip

The Temple University men’s basketball team returns home for the final time in the 2023 calendar year, hosting the Bloomsburg Huskies on Wednesday, December 6. Tipoff from the Liacouras Center is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Last Time Out – Riley, Stanford Have Career Games Against Saint Joseph’s

Zion Stanford and Jordan Riley each posted a personal high scoring effort, but the Owls were upended 74-65 in the championship game of the Big 5 Classic on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

BY THE NUMBERS 

  • Riley hit the 20-point mark for the first time in his collegiate career and posted a personal best with eight rebounds. He also dished three assists.
  • Stanford had a career game with 19 points and nine rebounds, both the highest totals in his young career. He added a block and a steal.
  • Matteo Picarelli scored 11, connecting on 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. It was his fourth game this season with at least three treys. Hysier Miller posted 10 points.

Weekly Honors
Temple had two players recognized this week by the American Athletic Conference as Zion Stanford was the Freshman of the Week and Jordan Riley was on the AAC honor roll. Stanford was also named to the Big 5 Honor Roll. Stanford averaged 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, shooting 61.9 percent from the floor. Riley posted 18.0 points with 6.0 boards a contest, adding in six assists, four steals and three blocks on the week.

Off To A Good Start

Speaking of Stanford, he has made an immediate impact on the Owls, particularly in recent games. Against Ole Miss, La Salle and Saint Joseph’s he has tied or recorded a career-high in scoring in each subsequent game, averaging 16.0 points per game. He has shined in late games situations, averaging 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and shot 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) while only committing one turnover in 48 minutes after halftime in those contests. 

Rise Of Riley

Stanford isn’t the only one who has played above his numbers recently as Jordan Riley has averaged 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in the same three-game stretch. He has also saved his best for last, scoring 10.3 points after halftime, connecting on 9-of-10 shots from the line as well. 

Leading The Way

Several Temple players are among the AAC leaders in a variety of categories. Hysier Miller is second in the conference in scoring at 18.7 points per game, fourth with 2.43 three-pointers made a contest and seventh with 4.0 assists an outing. Matteo Picarelli leads the American in made threes per game at 2.86 and is ninth in percentage, connecting at a 40.8 percent clip from distance. He is also 10th in free throw percentage at 86.2. Zion Stanford is 15th in the AAC with a 52.6 percent mark in field goals and both Steve Settle III (13th – 7.0) and Sam Hofman (18th – 6.3) are in the top-20 in rebounds per game. 

Holiday Travel

After Wednesday’s game against Bloomsburg, Temple will not play at home again until January 7, a span of 32 days, when it faces Wichita State in a nationally televised matchup. In that time, the Owls will play six games. making trips to New York for the NABC Brooklyn Showcase, Richmond, Va., Hawai’i and Tampa, Fla. to start conference play. 

Road(?) Trip

Of those six games, only two are true road contests, at VCU on December 16 and at USF on January 4. UAlbany on December 10 and the Hawai’i Airlines Diamond Head Classic from December 21-24 are neutral site tilts.

Scouting Report

Bloomsburg enters play 2-4 overall and is 0-2 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, following a 128-113 loss to Gannon and a 98-82 setback against Clarion during the weekend. BU was selected eighth in the PSAC East preseason poll

Leading the offense for Bloomsburg is Jake Nelson at 17.7 points per game. A 6’7″ graduate student, Nelson is averaging a double-double with 12.2 rebounds per contest, including games of 19 boards against West Virginia Wesleyan and 18 versus Holy Family. Also in double figure scoring are Matt Bengel (14.3), Raphael Castillo (10.8), Louie Wild (10.5) and DJ Gordon (10.3). Wild tops the team with 2.8 assists a contest. 

With five players averaging 10 or more points a game, it should come as no surprise that the Huskies are among the top offensive teams in the nation, scoring 83.3 points an outing, second in the PSAC to only national leader Gannon. Part of that is getting out on the run, scoring 15.7 points a game on the fastbreak. That transition offense has led to some open layups, helping Bloomsburg to connect on 48.5 percent of its attempts from the floor. 

While the offensive numbers sound gaudy, defense has been hard to come by for BU. The Huskies are in the bottom five in NCAA Division II, surrendering 94.5 points per game. In six games, the opposition has scored 85 or more points five times has connected on 46.9 percent of its shots. That problem is compounded by the Huskies committing 17.2 turnovers per game, helping teams to take 10 more field goal attempts a contest against Bloomsburg.

Chris Bess is in his second season at the helm of the Huskies with a record of 3-29. It is his first head coaching stint following a successful run as an assistant for both the men’s and women’s teams at his alma mater of Edinboro. 

All-Time Series

The Owls and Huskies are playing the third matchup in program history. Temple holds a 2-0 series advantage. 

Long Time Coming

It has been more than 70 years since TU and BU have exchanged pleasantries as the last game between the two squads was on December 14, 1949, a 65-42 Temple win at Bloomsburg. 

Putting In Extra Work

By going to triple overtime, the game against La Salle on November 29 entered some rare territory. It was the first 3OT game for the Owls since an 83-82 win at Massachusetts on February 11, 1990. The game was also just the fifth triple overtime game in Big 5 history and the first since La Salle downed Villanova, 84-83 on December 20, 1980. 

Up Next

The Owls make a short trip up the Jersey Turnpike and across the Goethels Bridge to take on UAlbany in the NABC Brooklyn Showcase on Sunday, December 10. Tipoff from Barclays Center is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be on the YES Network.