WHEN: Thursday, February 19, 2015
WHERE: Moody Coliseum (Dallas, Texas)
SERIES: SMU trails the series 2-3.
LAST MEETING: SMU won the last meeting against Temple on the road by way of a big comeback.
SMU is coming off arguably their most important win of the season over Connecticut after beating Houston on the road last week. SMU romped over Connecticut when all the pressure in the world was on SMU. The Mustangs showed fight after being down early in the game and stormed back to take the win. In SMU’s last game against Temple, the team was down by double-digits at one point and battled back with a mistake-free second half by Nic Moore. Moore had six turnovers in the first half and finished with seven against Temple in January.
Since losing three straight to Tulsa, SMU and Cincinnati, Temple has won seven games in a row and only one has been close. This is a statement game for the Owls for a chance to avenge a blown lead at home against SMU. Temple trounced Cincinnati, a team that has swept SMU this year, behind a big game from Will Cummings, before beating up East Carolina on Saturday. Temple has the ability to beat SMU. This team trounced Kansas at home in the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Three Players to Watch
Will Cummings: Cummings didn’t start last time out against SMU as he was nicked up going into the matchup, but Cummings is SMU’s No. 1 concern. Since his one-point outing against SMU, Cummings has scored in double-digits in seven straight games.
Quenton DeCosey: DeCosey was Temple’s second leading scorer against SMU last time out. While DeCosey has struggled as of late, scoring nine and six points in his last two games, DeCosey has always been a tough matchup at 6-5.
Jesse Morgan: Morgan missed the first half of the season, but returned into Temple’s lineup and has been one of their more consistent scorers. Morgan led Temple with 15 points against SMU and has had three-straight double-digit scoring nights.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Will Cummings vs. Nic Moore: Nic Moore doesn’t back down from anyone and I wouldn’t expect him to here either. Moore is at the point in the season where he is in full control of this offense. Moore has 15 turnovers in his nine games since Temple and had seven against the Owls, almost all in the first half. Moore is consistently getting close to double-digit assists and has had the ability to make big shots as well. Cummings will have to bring his A-game versus Moore and with a shot at redemption and strengthening Temple’s resume for the NCAA tournament, you can bet he will.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Fast start. After the electric atmosphere in Moody Coliseum Saturday night, tonight’s 6 p.m. start could be a bit of a letdown. That’s not to say fans won’t show up, but it’s a tough game to make right on time. It’s crucial for SMU to get out to a quick start, extinguish any fight the Owls come out with and get up big. Moody will be rocking by that point and SMU can enjoy its week off.