Conference play hasn’t fared well for either USF or Temple recently. Both teams come into tonight’s matchup on three-game losing streaks — all against AAC teams.
USF (7-11, 1-4) dropped games against UConn, Tulane and Tulsa, whereas Temple (12-7, 3-3) fell to Tulsa, SMU and Cincinnati.
Both USF and Temple will look for better second-half performances tonight when the two teams play in Philadelphia at 6:30.
In the teams’ most recent matches, they both let the game slip away in the final 20 minutes. The Bulls lost to Tulsa after leading for most of the first half, and Cincinnati outscored the Owls by 30 in the second half.
Despite the losses, coach Orlando Antigua views tonight’s game as a “good opportunity” against a seasoned team.
“(Temple) has some
experience — older guys, guys who have transferred and been in some battles,” Antigua said. “They’ve got three guys that are averaging double figures and almost a fourth one that could average double figures. They’ve got a good mix of veterans and young guys.”
Temple junior Quenton Decosey averages 13.4 points, and seniors Will Cummings and Jesse Morgan each average 12.9 points. Junior Jaylen Bond leads the conference averaging 8.3 rebounds.
The only players averaging double figures for USF — senior guard Corey Allen Jr. and sophomore forward Chris Perry — combined for a mere eight points in the Bulls’ most recent outing. Allen was nursing a calf muscle strain.
In that 75-58 loss against Tulsa on Saturday, junior guard Nehemias Morillo led the Bulls with 15 points and six rebounds, while freshman Ruben Guerrero scored 11 points.
Although Antigua’s young team is facing more experienced players, he wants his players to focus on themselves.
“We have to concentrate on us — taking care of the ball, executing, finishing off plays, competing for 40 minutes, rebounding the ball, not giving them many second chance opportunities,” he said.