By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple sits at 13-6 on the season as they prepare to return to the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night to host Richmond in Atlantic 10 action.
The Owls (2-3 in the Atlantic 10) are coming off an 83-71 loss to #9 Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Temple battled in this one, an 18-5 second half run turned a 51-38 deficit into a 56-56 tie with 8:12 left. Then, after the Bulldogs built the lead back up to 12, the Owls sliced it back down to six in the final seconds, but they would get no closer.
“To play there against that team, you’ve got to be focused every possession,” Temple head coach Fran Dunphy tells KYW Newsradio. “And we lost it in a couple possessions that hurt us.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Fran Dunphy:
The Owls also suffered a personnel loss in Indianapolis. Point guard T.J. DiLeo endured an ankle injury just a couple of minutes into the game – after dishing out a pair of assists in the opening minutes of his first start of the season. As for how long he will be sidelined.
“Not sure, I guess is how I would answer that,” Dunphy says. “Could be a week, could be three weeks. Ankles are difficult to predict, so we’ll see. I felt bad for him and for us, because I thought he was poised to have a great game there and he got hurt so soon. He’s been such a great asset for us over the years.”
Richmond will come to town with a 13-8 overall mark (3-3 in the A-10). Last time out, the Spiders lost up in Amherst to UMass, 70-65. Dunphy says they will give the Owls all they can handle.
“Very difficult team to play against,” Dunphy says. “I think they run great offense. I think Chris Mooney does a wonderful job of coaching. And the other part, that I don’t think they get enough credit for, is how hard it is for you to score against them. They do a great job of communicating on the defensive end and they seldom are out of position. You don’t get too many open looks. So it will be a great, great challenge for us.”
Temple and Richmond tip-off at 7:00pm on Wednesday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.