By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Temple Owls have made the turn for home here in the regular season and they are playing pretty good basketball as they do it.
The Owls have won three straight games for the first time since they opened the season with six straight wins. Their latest victory was one of their most impressive as they smothered a good Charlotte team on Sunday, 71-51.
“I thought our inside presence was good (Sunday), not flawless,” Temple head coach Fran Dunphy tells KYW Newsradio. “But we got a lot of help from our guards in terms of getting deflections and scraping down on the post guys.”
The Owls held Charlotte to 27% shooting in the win.
Temple is now 19-8 on the season and 8-5 in the Atlantic 10 as they get ready to host Detroit on Thursday night. So have the Owls started to hit their stride as they get closer to the post-season?
“I would love to answer that yes, but everything is so fragile in college basketball today,” Dunphy says. “You hope that we are getting better and you hope that we will have a good week this week with Detroit on Thursday and Rhode Island on Saturday, both at home. We certainly need to play well, we need to play well at the end of the season here. Every game is critical.”
This match-up with Detroit was originally scheduled for December 28th, but it was moved because of bad weather. The Titans are 18-10 on the season.
“Just a really good basketball team,” Dunphy says. “They have probably an NBA player in (junior guard) Ray McCallum. They were picked to win their league, I think they are in second place at this point in their league (Horizon). So we’ll have our hands full. We are the kind of team that has our hands full every night out so we’re expected a terrific challenge this week with both Detroit and Rhode Island.”
Including Thursday, the Owls have four regular-season games remaining before the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Temple and Detroit will tip-off at 7:00pm on Thursday at the Liacouras Center.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.