Villanova Hosts Temple in NCAA Hoops

Villanova Athletics

Temple Poses Tough Test for Villanova

The Temple Owls and the Villanova Wildcats will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Villanova Pavilion. The No. 21 Wildcats passed its first Big 5 challenge of the season.

The Big 5 is an annual round-robin between five Philadelphia area schools. The Wildcats are actually slated to play four consecutive Big 5 games this month. The run continues on Wednesday against the fast-starting Owls.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1.

LINE: Villanova 8; O/U: 143.

Villanova has won 23 straight Big 5 games. It includes Saturday’s 85-78 win against La Salle. The defending national champions continue to win local matchups despite losing many key players to the NBA.

Eric Paschall and Phil Booth are two of the returning players from the title team. They combined for 46 points against the Explorers. The duo hopes to match or exceed that number against the Owls.

Nova’ is 6-2 on the season. The Wildcats shot 55.1 percent from the field against La Salle. They made 12-of-21 from 3-point range and connected on 19-of-23 foul shots. it is one of their best performances since dominating Michigan in last season’s NCAA Tournament title game.

Paschall is averaging 21.3 points in the last three games and 15.8 overall. He is just behind Booth, who is at 16.9 ppg.  Collin Gillespie is at 11.3 ppg and has 32 points over the last two outings. He is shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point land this season.

In his last four games, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree is 14-of-15 from the floor.

Temple improved to 7-1 with a Big 5 win of its own Saturday, recording a 77-70 road triumph against Saint Joseph’s.

The Owls are 7-1 this season. They received 15 points apiece from Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose against St. Joe’s. They are continuing their best start since 2012-13 when the team started 8-1.

Alston and Rose average 17.1 points apiece and combine for 8.4 assists and 3.9 steals out of the backcourt.

Nate Pierre-Louis averages 11.3 points per game and scored in double digits in each of the first five games but has not reached the 10-point mark in three straight contests.

PREDICTION: Villanova 93, Temple 90

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Next up:
Temple home to UMass Wednesday, December 12
Villanova home to Saint Joseph’s Saturday, December 8

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