PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers (6-7) welcomes Temple (5-5) to the RAC on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) for an 8 p.m. tip-off in the American Athletic Conference opener. The Scarlet Knights will be working to win their third straight, while the Owls will be looking to capture their second consecutive win. The match-up marks the fifth of six consecutive home games for RU and its first contest in 10 days.
The game will be televised live nationally in high definition on ESPNU with Eamon McAnaney calling the action and Brooke Weisbrod providing the analysis. On the radio, the contest will be broadcast live on the Rutgers IMG Sports Network, WOR 710 AM in New York, WCTC 1450 AM in New Brunswick and Sirius/XM channel 91. Chris Carlin will serve as play-by-play announcer and Dick Lloyd will provide commentary. WRSU (88.7) will also broadcast the game.
Wednesday evening’s contest marks the 51st meeting between the schools on the collegiate hardwood dating back to 1920, with Temple holding a 32-18 advantage in victories. The Scarlet Knights are 13-13 at home versus TU and 7-11 at the RAC. The last meeting occurred on Nov. 29, 2006, with the Owls earning a 77-54 win at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Rutgers defeated TU 67-53 on Nov. 23, 2005 in the last meeting at the RAC. As a player at Rutgers, current head coach Eddie Jordan had a 2-1 record versus the Owls. Jordan and teammate Mike Dabney both had six steals in a 96-62 victory over Temple at the Palestra during the 1975-76 Final Four season.
Junior guard Myles Mack (Paterson, N.J.) drained a three-pointer from the top of the arc with three seconds remaining to help Rutgers to a thrilling 75-72 win over Army at the RAC on Dec. 22. Mack scored all of RU’s six points in the final minute en route to a team-high 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Sixteen of Mack’s points came in the second half in a game that featured 10 ties and 19 lead changes. He augmented his performance by making all five of his attempts at the charity stripe, while dishing out seven assists. Senior forward Wally Judge (Washington, D.C.) also had a standout performance for the Scarlet Knights, shooting 7-of-10 to post 16 points with seven rebounds. Junior guard D’Von Campbell (Arlington, Texas) joined Mack and Judge in double figures, making 5-of-7 field goal attempts to contribute 12 points.
Mack ranks second in the AAC in steals (2.2), fourth in three-point field goals made (2.2), sixth in scoring (16.5) and assists (4.3), seventh in free throw percentage (.836) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.4).
Temple, under the leadership of eighth-year head coach Fran Dunphy, earned a 101-65 victory over Long Island at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Dec. 21. Senior guard Dalton Pepper shot 10-of-12 to score a career-high 26 points in pacing five Owls in double figures. TU shot 61.3 percent (38-of-62) to eclipse the 100-point plateau for the first time since 2007. Junior guard Will Cummings leads the team in scoring with 17.7 points-per-game, while Pepper contributes 17.2. Four of Temple’s five losses have been by six points or less or in overtime, including two by a single point.