RTC Live: Duke @ Temple

Posted by rtmsf on January 4th, 2012


RTC Live will be in Philadelphia this evening for a fascinating ACC-Atlantic 10 matchup, with the quiet Duke Blue Devils travelling to take on Temple in the City of Brotherly Love.

Game #62. Believe it or not, Duke has flown a bit under the radar since losing at Ohio State. The Blue Devils have played only five times since that late November road trip and won every game against a lighter schedule. Tonight’s tilt with Temple will be Duke’s final non-conference game before beginning ACC play, although the Blue Devils have a home game with Big East foe St. John’s sandwiched in between their ACC schedule towards the end of this month. Duke has won nine games in a row against Temple and 15 of the last 18 in the series. Of those nine consecutive wins, all but three have been by 10 points or more. Amazingly, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is 36-1 against teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference while on the Duke bench. As for Temple, the Owls have won three in a row since losing at Texas on December 17. Fran Dunphy’s team has a pair of decent non-conference wins on its resume (Wichita State and Villanova) but knocking off Duke would be the signature win needed for Temple to forge a solid NCAA Tournament resume heading into league play. Temple begins its Atlantic 10 slate on Saturday against Dayton. Look for the Owls to come out with lots of energy as they try to stop Duke’s potent offense, ranked fourth in efficiency. Temple is a top five team in terms of guarding the three point shot, surrendering only 25.6% from the beyond the arc this season. If the Owls can limit Duke from deep, that will give them a chance to be in this game. Tonight’s contest will be played at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers, instead of Temple’s on-campus facility, the Liacouras Center.

Join us just before the 7:00 PM eastern tip on ESPN2 and follow along with RTC Live as Temple attempts to pull the upset in Philadelphia.

Recap:

We had an RTC tonight in Philadelphia as the Temple Owls used their toughness on the boards and hot shooting all game to knock off  the #8 Duke Blue Devils, 78-73, before 20,420 fans at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. The announced crowd, some of whom rushed the court after the final buzzer, was the third-highest college basketball crowd in the history of this building, topped only by two Villanova victories over Connecticut and Syracuse in 2006. Khalif Wyatt had a terrific game for the Owls (10-3), making eight of his 12 field goal attempts en route to a 22-point night. For the game, Temple shot 56.4% against a Duke defense that could never get on the same page. Coach Mike Krzyzewski tried all kinds of different lineups, rotating players in and out all game long, but nothing clicked for the Blue Devils (12-2). The Plumlee brothers had terrific offensive games, combining for 33 points and 17 rebounds, but Duke’s interior defense allowed Temple to shoot 26-45 (57.8%) inside the arc. Duke came into the game allowing 46.3% from two-point range. In a rather stunning development, Duke’s guards were not a factor for most of the game. The Blue Devils did shoot a solid 42.9% from deep but they committed 16 turnovers and failed to stop Temple’s dribble penetration. Temple’s guards simply outplayed their counterparts from Duke with Wyatt doing most of the damage. Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and Tyler Thornton were non-factors for the Blue Devils while Temple’s defense frustrated Austin Rivers into a rough 3-11 shooting night. It was a marquee win for Temple, one that will be very important come Selection Sunday. Temple has now defeated a top-10 opponent in four consecutive seasons, all coming in Philadelphia. The win also snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Owls against Duke, one that dates back to January 25, 1996. It took a team effort from all of Temple’s players as five guys posted double figures. Owl coach Fran Dunphy said his players all needed to play well and they sure did, giving Temple a huge boost heading into to Atlantic 10 play this Saturday. As for Duke, the Blue Devils will open ACC play on Saturday when they visit Georgia Tech.

rtmsf (3727 Posts)


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