PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Now ranked 23rd in the country in the latest AP poll (see related story), the Temple Owls are preparing for Thursday night’s game at the Liacouras Center against a very good Richmond team.

The Owls are coming off Saturday’s 75-63 win at Dayton, a game the Owls won without the services of senior forward Lavoy Allen (see related story).  The Owls’ leading rebounder missed the game with a sprained ankle.

On Tuesday, Temple head coach Fran Dunphy called in to KYW Newsradio.

“He’s gotten better over the last few days and he hasn’t practiced since last week,” Dunphy said of Allen, “so we hope to get him running around a little bit today and hopefully he will be a lot closer to 100 percent.  We’ll just see how it goes.  He’s certainly better than he was for Saturday’s game, today, and hopefully he’ll be better on Thursday,” Dunphy added.

Hear the entire Fran Dunphy interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Allen is averaging 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.

As far as the game with Richmond is concerned, this is a key matchup for the 19-5 Owls.  The Spiders are 20-6 on the season, and both teams are 9-2 in the Atlantic 10.

Dunphy says Richmond’s success is no accident:

“They are just really a good basketball team, and I think (head coach) Chris Mooney has done a terrific job in putting together a terrific basketball program.  They have really quality athletes, they know the system, and while they run a great system on offense, they are very difficult to score against when you are on offense.”

Temple will put a 19-game home winning streak on the line on Thursday.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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