Leading up to the first big five matchups of the year for Temple, they’re coming off solid performances to start their season. In the season opener, Aaron Mckie and his squad kicked things off with a chippy 70 – 62 win against city rival Drexel, marking the first win in Mckie’s young coaching career.
In their second game, Temple hosted an inferior team in Morgan State who confidently kept the score close at halftime, 37- 27. But, the Owls pulled away in the second half to secure an 18 point victory thanks to four players scoring in double figures.
As the Owls travel to Tom Gola arena this Saturday, the history of the big 5 is sure to be a topic of discussion. The matchups between Temple and Lasalle continually produce hard-fought battles each time out, with the Owls getting the better of them in four of the last five meetings.
Temple won their last matchup against LaSalle, 75 – 67 at home and knows they will be bringing their A-game to avenge last year’s loss.
With this being somewhat of an essential game for Lasalle early in the season, they bring back some experienced players from the year prior after not performing up to par under 2nd-year head coach Ashley Howard. Explorers sophomore Ed Croswell is the only double-digit scorer with 10 per game to lead their offense. Rounding out the scoring load for Lasalle is Senior Isaiah Deas and Junior David Beatty with 9.5 and 8.5 points, respectively. Coming off a 15 point loss on Wednesday in their first Big 5 matchup against Penn, the Explorers hope to turn things around and capitalize on the inexperience from Temple Head coach Aaron Mckie in his first road test of the year.
A couple of players have stood out for Temple in their young season, including both Nate Pierre-Louis and Quinton Rose. Pierre-Louis seems to be all over the court every second of the game, and his stats certainly show the effort he’s been putting out. His season averages of 17.5 points 10 rebounds, and a resounding 5.5 steals in two games earned him American Conference player of the week. Senior Quinton Rose’s 15 points per contest and his ability to lead on both ends of the court will also play a big part in the anticipated matchup this Saturday.
The Owls will need to continue their hard-nosed defense and pressure Lasalle into making mistakes. The Explorers have allowed 69.5 ppg in the two games they’ve played this season, and turnovers have proven to be an issue for them, committing 17 a contest. Temple has to come out with a win against Lasalle to remain one of 5 undefeated teams in the American Athletic Conference going into the weekend.
Gametime this Saturday, November 16th, is set for 2 pm. Following the game, the Owls travel to sunny Southern California to cap off their road trip before returning for a three-game homestand.