Richmond (20-6) at Temple (19-5)

Sunny Currently: Philadelphia, PA, US
Temp: 28° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 17, 2011
  • *Richmond
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Temple matched its longest winning streak of the season despite having its leading rebounder on the sidelines.

The Owls, though, hope to have Lavoy Allen back in time for a pivotal matchup with Atlantic 10 rival Richmond.

Looking for a season-best seventh consecutive win, No. 23 Temple also will try for a 20th consecutive home victory Thursday night against a Spiders team in search of a ninth consecutive road win.

The Owls (19-5, 9-2) moved into a second-place tie with Richmond in the conference after a 75-63 win at Dayton on Saturday despite Allen’s absence. Allen, who averages 7.0 rebounds to go along with 10.7 points, sprained his left ankle in a 77-66 win over Fordham on Feb. 9.

“We’re hoping (Allen) can play next Thursday,” coach Fran Dunphy said. “If it was the last game of the year, he would have played. He made the best judgment he could.”

Junior Ramone Moore, who leads the Owls with 15.0 points per game, recorded 26 and a season-best nine rebounds Saturday. Juan Fernandez matched a career-best with nine assists, and the junior didn’t commit a turnover for the first time this season.

“It’s great for our confidence,” said Fernandez, who’s totaled 33 points in two career games versus the Spiders. “It’s at a great point of the year. We need (Xavier) to lose at least one more game. That would be great. But it’s really up to us. We can’t lose any more from here on.”

Dunphy’s team is averaging 74.9 points en route to an 11-0 start at home - its best since going 13-0 at the Liacouras Center in 1999-2000.

After suffering an 84-52 loss to then-No. 1 Kansas at home Jan. 2, 2010, the Owls have won 19 straight by an average of 14.9 points.

Temple and Richmond (20-6, 9-2), who rank first and second in the conference in scoring defense with 61.8 and 62.1 points per game, respectively, are one game behind the A-10-leading Musketeers.

While the Owls are in position for a fourth straight 20-win season, the Spiders recorded 20 wins for the third season in a row by beating Saint Louis 64-52 on Saturday.

Justin Harper, who ranks fourth in the conference with 18.0 points per game, continued his impressive play with 22 points, nine rebounds and a career high-tying four blocks, helping the forward earn player of the week honors for the third time this season.

Harper, though, is averaging 7.3 points on 32.3 percent shooting in three career starts versus Temple.

The Spiders are in the midst of an eight-game road winning streak, the second-longest active run in the country behind Coastal Carolina’s nine. They’ve gone 5-0 as the visitor in conference play in 2010-11 and have taken 10 of 11 dating to last season.

Richmond also has won five of its last six games versus ranked opponents, including a 65-54 victory versus then-No. 10 Purdue on Nov. 27 as senior Kevin Anderson scored a season-high 28 points.

The Owls, who have taken five of seven in the series, defeated Richmond 56-52 in last season’s conference championship. Fernandez finished with 18 points.

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