By Adam Brown
Ole Miss men’s basketball returns to action on Saturday afternoon as they play host to the Temple Owls. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network.
Ole Miss (7-3) looks to rebound against their second AAC opponent after falling to UCF 72-61 on Wednesday night.
The Rebels come into the contest averaging 71.2 points per game. Junior Matthew Murrell averages 15.0 per game.
This season, Ole Miss has averaged 13.1 offensive rebounds per game, the Rebels have been among the best in the country in earning second chances on the glass. They currently rank tied for 27th in college basketball in offensive boards per game, and sixth in the SEC. The team is led by senior transfer Myles Burns with 24 offensive rebounds.
Temple rolls into the SJB Pavilion with a 6-5 overall record after falling 77-57 to Penn on Saturday.
The Owls have three different players averaging double figures on the season all led by Khalif Battle with 19.4 a game. Battle’s two teammates that join him in double figures are Damian Dunn (15.0) and Jamille Reynolds (11.1).
This season, Temple is averaging 70.1 points per contest and allowing their opponents to score 68.7 a game.
Despite these two programs not meeting in over two decades, their matchup history is filled with big-time games. First meeting during the 1987-88 season at the Sugar Bowl Classic in the Superdome, the Temple Owls entered the game ranked No. 6 in the nation under eventual Naismith Hall of Fame coach John Chaney. The Rebels would narrowly lose by nine 70-61 to an Owls team that would finish the season ranked No. 1, and reach the Elite Eight of the 1988 NCAA Tournament. Just over 10 years later, the two would meet in the first round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., as nine-seeded Temple once again topped Ole Miss, a No. 8 seed, 62-40. The following fall, the Rebels came out on top as No. 21 Ole Miss welcomed No. 18 Temple to the Tad Smith Coliseum in November of 1997. Junior guard Keith Carter helped lead the way for an 87-74 victory for Ole Miss, as he collected one of two double-doubles in the game with 33 points on seven makes from three, and 15 rebounds. Eventual SEC Player of the Year Ansu Sesay chipped in 23 points with four assists, while Jason Smith scored 10 points to go with 10 boards. A year later, No. 7 Temple defeated Ole Miss 68-52 in Philadelphia.