The pregame: SMU vs Temple
SMU is coming off its first conference tournament win since 2006 and Temple just scraped out a win against Memphis.
Now, the two teams will square off for the third time this season. The Mustangs have won both match ups by an average of seven points, but had to rally from double-digit deficits both times.
The series between these two teams is even at 3-3 and have never faced off in a conference tournament.
Prior to last season, the Owls hadn’t played SMU since 1956, when Temple defeated SMU in the third place game of the NCAA tournament.
When SMU and Temple battled in Dallas, Nic Moore finished with 18 points and the Mustangs had to battle a ten point second half deficit to win. Ryan Manuel hit a tying three pointer and then added another on the tail end of a 7-0 run that put SMU up 59-52. In the final four minutes, SMU outscored Temple 15-6.
When the teams met in Philadelphia SMU had to rally from 13 points down in the second half. The come-back was the largest at SMU under Larry Brown. With 1:20 left, Moore hit the go ahead three and Markus Kennedy dropped 21 points.
Three on Three
- Guard- Will CummingsTemple will be led by the play of its guards. When talking about the Owls, there’s no better place to start than Cummings. On Friday, Cummings finished with 21 points, six assists, and three boards.
- Guard- Jesse MorganMorgan finished with 13 points, and seven rebounds. He was 3-7 from thee-point range, so he could be very dangerous on Saturday as SMU usually gives up a lot of threes.
- Guard- Quenton DecoseyDecosey finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists in Fridqays win over Memphis. It will be interesting to see if Temple continues to use a three guards starting line up against an SMU team that is loaded with bigs.
- Guard-Nic MooreThe jumior guard finished with 20 points, five assists and was 3-9 from three point range. He has already more than doubled his previous conference tournament point totals and the 2014-15 AAC Player of the Year will be looking to light up the Owls on Saturday.
- Forward- Markus KennedyKennedy left Friday’s game momentarily, but returned an angrier more determined force off SMU’s bench. The junior finished with 15 points, six rebounds, three steals and a block.
- Center- Yanick MoreiraThe AAC’s most improved Player finished Friday’s game with 10 points and six rebounds and was 2-2 from the free throw line. Moreira is an integral part of SMU’s success- so we can expect him to flirt with a double-double on Saturday.