Daily Cup of City 6 (1/21/14)

By Sean Kennedy

Temple will have to contend with talented point guard Shabazz Napier Tuesday night, who only seems like he’s been in college forever.

Yesterday’s Action

Creighton 96, Villanova 68

Villanova suffered its worst loss under Jay Wright as Creighton sank a Big East record 21 threes at the Wells Fargo Center Monday night to upset the Wildcats. The Bluejays were unconscious from the get-go, hitting their first 7 shots (all threes) and first 9 threes overall to go up 19 points before you could blink. Ethan Wragge hit his first 7 shots from behind the arc, some of which were well beyond the NBA line, as the Wildcats continually left him open while concerning themselves with double-teaming Doug McDermott. Wragge finished the game 9-14 from three and had surpassed his former career-high of 22 points by halftime, having tallied 24 by the break and ending with a game-high 27 points.

The Wildcats made a run in the late part of the first half, using a 22-7 surge to go from down 47-19 to just 13 points at the half. James Bell did his best to take part in the shooting spectacular with 5 made threes on the night for a team-high 19 points. However, Creighton did not cool off much coming out of the locker room for the second half. With Villanova clearly more concerned about not freeing Wragge up for a shot, McDermott showed why he’s the second leading scorer in the nation, as he had 5 made threes and 23 points when it was all said and done. Overall, this game was just an example of unbelievable shooting from the Bluejays. After all, it was the most made threes by a team in a game involving two D-1 teams since 2007. The Wildcats and their fans just need to put this one out of their minds.

Box Score

Delaware 90, Drexel 77

The Dragons knew Delaware had one of the better scoring attacks in the nation coming into play, but knowing something and doing something about it are two different things as the Blue Hens shot 57% from the field to cruise to an easy victory. Delaware’s Devon Saddler nearly had a triple-double with a game-high 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists, while fellow guard Jarvis Threatt finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists of his own. The lightning quick guards were able to beat the Drexel defenders off the dribble time and time again, especially in the first half as the Dragons fell behind by by 16 points at the break that proved insurmountable.

Drexel received a nice boost from Tavon Allen, who still didn’t look 100% healed from his ankle injury but hit 5 of 7 threes off the bench to finish with 19 points. I don’t know if rushing Allen back into action was the best course but he didn’t seem to come away worse from it so hopefully that ankle will continue to improve going forward. Frantz Massenat recorded a double-double with a team-high 20 points and 10 assists but ultimately, the defensive effort from the entire Dragons squad was lacking on the night. They’ll try to tighten things up this weekend against William & Mary.

Box Score

Today’s Action

7:00 PM: Temple (5-11, 0-5 AAC) @ Connecticut (14-4, 2-3 AAC) – CBS Sports Network

Having lost 6 straight games and still winless in conference play, things won’t get any easier for the Owls when they travel to Connecticut to face an always-dangerous Huskies team. UConn has struggled at times in American play but with victories this season over Memphis, Florida, Maryland, and Indiana, they’re no doubt a team that can give Temple a lot of trouble on both ends. The Huskies are led by senior guard Shabazz Napier, who does nearly everything averaging 17 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, and 2 steals on the season. Always seen to struggle as a distributor at the point guard position, Napier has made some strides in that area and looks to be a solid 2nd round flier for some time in this summer’s NBA draft.

Still, the Huskies have more than Napier to deal with, as forward DeAndre Daniels and guard Ryan Boatright each average double digits in points, and the entire team shoots an outstanding 41% from three. Niels Giffey is 2nd in the nation at 56%, and Napier, Daniels, and Lasan Kromah are all over 40%. The Owls will hope to have Will Cummings back in the lineup, who was medically cleared to play over the weekend but held out by coach Fran Dunphy. They’ll need big efforts from him and the rest of Temple’s usual suspects to hang with a talented Connecticut squad.

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