It’s not a surprise that Temple had its eight-game run snapped in its last game, but its win streak is still intact in Atlantic 10 play.
The 24th-ranked Owls look to win their ninth consecutive conference game Saturday when they visit a George Washington team that has won three straight.
Temple (21-6, 11-2) took a break from conference play and shot 39.3 percent in a 78-61 loss at top-ranked Duke on Wednesday.
“Two things happened. Our offense wasn’t as good as we needed to be,” coach Fran Dunphy said. “Then, when we did have bad shot selection, they ran it down our throats sometimes on some easy run-outs.”
The Owls were without second-leading scorer Scootie Randall, who missed his second straight game with an injured right foot and remains day to day. Randall was coming on strong before the injury, averaging 17.4 points over his last six games.
Freshman Aaron Brown has started the last two games in Randall’s place, totaling five points in 23 minutes. Temple is already without center Micheal Eric, who’s lost for the season with a broken right kneecap.
Dunphy used essentially seven players Wednesday. Lavoy Allen had 17 points and 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double.
“I saw some good things,” Dunphy said. “It was great to see Lavoy step out and make shots today.”
The Owls are in second place in the A-10, trailing 25th-ranked Xavier by one game with three left for both.
The Colonials have put together their second three-game conference win streak. Their top A-10 shooting efforts have come in their last two games, as they made 52.7 percent of their attempts last Saturday in an 82-80 win over La Salle and shot 51.9 percent in Wednesday’s 74-57 victory over Charlotte.
“Over these last couple of weeks, this team has started to find itself,” coach Karl Hobbs said. “It’s taken us some time, but I like where we are right now.”
Junior guard Tony Taylor is the only Colonial averaging in double figures at 14.7 points. George Washington, though, has used tremendous balance the last two games, with four players reaching double digits against the Explorers and five versus the 49ers.
“We’re just coming together really well,” Taylor said. “We’re gelling a lot better, and coach always preaches that we have to play our best ball in February. I think the whole team is starting to buy into it.”
The Colonials won five of six against the Owls before Allen joined Temple three years ago. Now a senior, Allen is averaging 16.0 points on 60.0 percent shooting and 9.3 rebounds during the Owls’ three-game win streak in the series.
George Washington has dropped nine straight to Top 25 foes since a 78-70 win over then-No. 21 Maryland on Dec. 5, 2005.