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Starting Five: Undefeated Temple Tops City 6 Rankings

Starting Five will be a weekly update on the Philadelphia basketball schools, ranking the teams from 1-5 and one team “on the bench”.  It will come out every Friday afternoon.

1.  Temple Owls:

Temple posted solid wins over Wagner and Villanova this week, although they struggled in the first half against the Wildcats.  The 6-0 Owls play Duke on Saturday night, which will be their first big test of the season. Senior Khalif Wyatt starred for Temple, as he scored 39 points in two games. Scootie Randall and Anthony Lee also posted impressive performances this week. Temple also received 9 votes in the latest AP poll.

2. St. Joseph’s Hawks:

The Hawks (5-2) looked potent for the majority of the season with a big win over Notre Dame.  A 29-point loss to 16th ranked Creighton dropped SJU from the top spot in the Big 5 for now.  St. Joe’s rebounded a few days later with a 67-55 win over Coppin State, as Carl Jones led the Hawks with 15 points.  Villanova will host SJU at the Pavillion next Tuesday in the ‘Holy War’.

3. La Salle Explorers

The Explorers won both of their games in the past seven days, beating Rider and Penn State.  Tyreek Duren scored 20 points and Roman Galloway added 17 in La Salle’s win over Rider. Duren dropped 29 as the 5-1 Explorers hung 82 points on the Nittany Lions, hitting 16 threes as a team.

4. Villanova Wildcats

The 4-4 ‘Cats beat Vanderbilt in the Big East/SEC challenge last Saturday, before falling to Temple on Wednesday 76-61.  Mouphtaou Yarou scored 16 points and 7 boards in the win, as James bell led Nova with 15 points in their defeat.  Villanova committed 20 turnovers when they fell to Temple, even after taking a four point halftime lead. The Cats take on Penn at the Palestra on Saturday night.

5. Drexel Dragons

Even with losses to Tennessee State, Drexel somehow manages to stay in the top five, for now. They are at 2-6 on the season, and Bruiser Flint is dearly missing Chris Fouch and Samme Givens.

Off the Bench

Penn Quakers  

Penn lost its 6th game of the season in a 58-47 loss to Penn State last Saturday.  Tony Hick scored 10 points in the defeat.  They fall to 2-6 on the season, heading into their matchup with Villanova on December 8th.

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Categories: CBB, Drexel, La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple, Villanova

Author:Sean Burke

Sean Burke is a Villanova beat writer for Khandyman Sports and also contributes to the Eagles section. Sean currently resides in Glen Mills, PA.

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