Texas and Temple have each won three games in a row heading into Saturday’s meeting at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. The Longhorns lead the series 3-2, including a home win in 2011. The teams haven’t met in Philadelphia since 1939 and the series includes two postseason meetings - a Texas victory in the 1978 NIT and a Temple win in the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
The Owls’ experienced duo of Will Cummings and Anthony Lee helped Temple hold off city rival Saint Joseph’s 77-69 on Wednesday while freshman point guard Isaiah Taylor is emerging as a leader for the Longhorns. Taylor had a career-high eight assists and knocked down two late baskets to help Texas defeat Vanderbilt 70-64. “Down the stretch, I want the ball in my hands,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t so much that I had to take over. I was just doing what I had to do to win. I think my teammate believe in me and when the ball is in my hands, I trust myself.”
TV: Noon ET, ESPNU
ABOUT TEXAS (7-1): Jonathan Holmes leads Texas with 12.7 points and Taylor adds 10.9 points and 3.5 assists for the Longhorns, who are off to their best start since a 17-0 mark in 2009-10. Texas is plus-9.9 in rebounding and has 61 blocks, including 24 from 6-9 center Cameron Ridley. The Longhorns have held six opponents to less than 40 percent shooting this season and are 224-26 under coach Rick Barnes in such games.
ABOUT TEMPLE (4-3): Cummings (17.9 points) and Lee (13.3) points - both juniors - are two of the four Owls averaging in double figures. Lee, a 6-9 forward, averages 9.7 rebounds and has four double-doubles this season. Dalton Pepper adds 16 points and has hit 15-of-36 from 3-point range for the Owls, who beat Georgia, Alabama-Birmingham and Saint Joseph’s during their win streak.
1. Texas has overcome second-half deficits - 10 points to South Alabama, nine to Mercer and Texas-Arlington, and five to Stephen F. Austin - in four of its wins.
2. G Quenton DeCosey and Cummings have scored in double figures in all seven of Temple’s games.
3. Former Longhorn Jaylen Bond transferred to Temple in the off-season and is not eligible to play this season.
PREDICTION: Texas 80, Temple 69