Ryan Brooks and Lavoy Allen struggled in Temple’s latest victory. The Owls will likely need both to play better Wednesday night when they face Charlotte and try to keep sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10.
Brooks, the No. 15 Owls’ leading scorer at 16.0 points per game, had his streak of 10 straight games in double digits snapped when he scored nine in a 62-45 victory at Fordham on Saturday.
Allen came in as one of three players in the conference averaging a double-double, but ran into foul trouble and had no points and a season-low three rebounds. The junior, averaging 10.6 points and 9.8 boards, went scoreless in a game for just the second time in his career.
Temple (17-3, 5-0), winner of six straight and 13 of 14, plays at Charlotte for the first time since a 60-58 loss Jan. 12, 2008. The Owls, though, have won three straight in the series since that defeat.
In the last matchup, Temple defeated the 49ers 80-53 on Jan. 24 of last season. Allen had 16 points and 10 rebounds while Brooks added 11 points and six boards for the Owls, who jumped out to a 24-6 lead and held Charlotte to 28.8 percent shooting.
Temple leads the conference in scoring defense at 56.2 points and field-goal percentage defense at 37.8. However, the Owls could be tested by Charlotte (14-5, 4-1), which is averaging 75.1 points.
Temple will get its first look at junior forward Shamari Spears, a Boston College transfer, who is scoring a team-high 16.9 points per game. Spears had 22, freshman Chris Braswell matched a season high with 21 points and sophomore guard Derrio Green added 20 in an 84-82 victory at LaSalle on Saturday.
An’Juan Wilderness lifted Charlotte with a jumper at the buzzer.
“If you like good, offensive basketball, you had to like this game,” coach Bobby Lutz told the school’s official Web site after his team won its third straight. “I’m just glad we were able to get out with the win.”
If the Owls win Wednesday, they will have their best start since the 1987-88 team opened 32-1.
Guard Juan Fernandez, averaging 14.6 points and 4.2 assists in his last five games, is questionable for Wednesday after injuring his head in the second half Saturday.
Allen needs 15 rebounds to tie Mark Macon for 12th in program history with 700, but reaching that mark against the 49ers could be a challenge. Braswell, who added 13 rebounds against LaSalle and was named A-10 rookie of the week, is fourth in the conference with 9.2 boards per game.
Temple leads the series with Charlotte 5-4.