Lawrence, KS (Sports Network) - Fran Dunphy's Temple Owls will try to take
down another Goliath as they visit the Allen Fieldhouse for a non-conference
tussle with the sixth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
Temple made a statement on Dec. 22 with an 83-79 upset of the previously
unbeaten Syracuse Orange at Madison Square Garden. The Owls followed up the
big victory with a 75-57 rout of Bowling Green on New Year's Eve that improved
their record to 10-2, with Atlantic 10 Conference action on the horizon.
Dunphy's squad is scoring 71.6 points per game on 41.6 percent shooting from
the floor, while allowing only 64.2 ppg on a .418 field goal percentage.
Bill Self's Jayhawks closed out 2012 on a 10-game winning streak that included
victories over Washington State (78-41), Colorado (90-54), Belmont (89-60),
Ohio State (74-66), and most recently, American (89-57). Kansas has been
defeating its opposition by a Big 12-leading +19.4 scoring margin. With the
win over American, Kansas has now won 29 straight at home, the second-longest
active streak in the nation.
Kansas leads the overall series with Temple 7-3 as the schools last squared
off in a home-and-home series during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. The Jayhawks
captured double-digit wins in both of those contests.
The Owls completely dominated Bowling Green their last time out by recording a
season-high 23 assists in the outing and by holding the Falcons to only 37.7
percent success from the floor overall, including 4-of-16 behind the 3-point
line. Jake O'Brien scored 15 points, leading five players in double figures.
Scootie Randall and Anthony Lee both had double-doubles in an impressive
performance by Temple. The recent surge has been powered by senior point guard
Khalif Wyatt, who poured in 33 points in the upset of the Orange before
dishing out eight assists against BGSU. Wyatt is leading the team with 15.4
points and 4.3 assists per game. Randall (12.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Lee (11.4
ppg, 7.1 rpg) are both big contributors in the scoring column as well as on
Kansas shot the lights out versus American, hitting 15-of-24 from beyond the
arc to come just one short of the school record. Travis Releford drilled five
of the triples to net a team-high 19 points as the Jayhawks shot a scorching
63 percent from the floor. Kansas has a very deep and diverse array of talent,
with young guard Ben McLemore leading the pack in scoring at 15.8 points per
game, which is the second best in the Big 12. Senior Jeff Withey has notched
two double-doubles in his last three games. The 7-0 center is producing 13.8
points, 7.9 rebounds, and a Big 12-high 4.9 blocks per game. Releford (13.3
ppg, 1.3 spg), and Elijah Johnson (10.1 ppg, 4.9 apg) add outside scoring
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