By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple sits at 19-5 on the season after that impressive 85-72 win over Xavier on Saturday night. That victory helped the Owls reach the brink of the national rankings. In the latest polls released on Monday, the Owls are at the top of the “Others receiving votes” category in the AP poll, and they are right behind Wichita State in that group in the coaches poll.
Next up for Temple, a Wednesday night visit to St. Bonaventure.
The Owls got a great performance in that win over Xavier from Ramone Moore as he poured in 30 points, and that made head coach Fran Dunphy a happy man.
“Ramone has worked so hard at his game and he’s really just a terrific guy along with being a very good player. I’m so happy for his recent success here. He’s had a really good year and he’s really starting to shoot it from the perimeter and that has just enhanced his ability to make shots and score points for us.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon interview Fran Dunphy:
Moore on Monday was named both the Atlantic 10 and Big 5 Player of the Week. He is the A-10′s leading scorer at 18.8 points a game.
As for Wednesday’s game with the Bonnies, the Owls are going to have to deal with St. Bonaventure senior big man Andrew Nicholson who is coming off an absurdly good performance last time out in a win over Duquesne. The 6-9 forward poured in 21 points in that one on Saturday, while pulling down 23 rebounds. Needless to say, he has Dunphy’s attention.
“The scary part for me was the eight offensive rebounds. That means that he knows where the ball is coming off the rim, he’s got that knack for rebounding. And then they have the other kid, (junior forward) Demitrius Conger, who also had seven offensive rebounds (vs. Duquesne). So those two stat lines, those two guys, (are) something you really have to worry about.”
For the season, Nicholson is averaging 15.6 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. Both figures are tops on the Bonnies, who are 13-9 on the season and 9-1 at home. Dunphy says this will be a battle.
“They are in very good position to finish the league season out strong and certainly they are going to be more than ready for us and we need to accept that challenge on Wednesday.”
Temple and St. Bonaventure will tip-off at 8:00pm on Wednesday night in Olean, New York.