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The Temple Owls (16-5, 5-2 A-10) defeated the Fordham Rams (9-12, 2-6 A-10), 78-60 at the Liacouras Center on Wednesday night, extending the team's winning streak to five games -- a season-high for the Owls who appear to be finding their groove in the A-10.
and Khalif Wyatt
combined for 49 points, with 25 and 24 respectively. It marked the second time in two weeks that the two scored 20 or more points in the same contest, with the previous feat coming in Temple's win over Maryland.
Fordham opened the game on a 5-0 run until Wyatt took the Owls under his wing, single-handedly scoring the team's first 10 points with two layups and a three. After being fouled on his second three-point attempt by Fordham's Devon McMillan, Wyatt added three more points from the charity stripe..
As a team, Temple started out slowly, trailing Fordham 15-10 in the first half, but a three-point basket by Moore with about 10 minutes to play sparked the team to score nine unanswered points, putting the Owls up 28-21.
A Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson put-back off of a Wyatt miss with two seconds left in the half gave the Owls their largest lead heading into the second session up 35-27.
The rest, as they say, was history.
The Owls exploded after the intermission behind key treys from Moore, TJ DiLeo and Wyatt that put the team on a 10-0 run and extended their lead to 47-33 over the Rams.
The Rams were able to shave the lead down to 12 with just under four minutes to play in regulation, but a well-timed Moore trey -- his sixth of the game (8 attempts), a career high-- kept the contest out of reach for Fordham and the Owls never looked back.
Temple continued its recent red-hot shooting from the field, as the team combined to shoot a blistering 66.7% in the second half and went 7-for-9 (77.8%) from three-point range.
Defensively, the Owls put on quite a performance too, holding the Rams to only 41.4% shooting from the field and 31.3% from beyond the arc on 5-for-16 shooting.
Micheal Eric looked sharp in his fourth game back from a 13-game hiatus due to a patella injury, contributing a career-high tying five blocks in his 14 minutes off the bench.
Redshirt-freshman Jimmy McDonnell gave the Temple faithful a rouse in the final minutes when he notched his first career points by sinking a jumper from the left side of the key for the final bucket of the game.
Tonight's game concludes the Owls' home-stretch as the team heads north to take on the University of Rhode Island Rams on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 PM with the game televised nationally on ESPN2.
by Kami Mattioli, Owlsports.com Columnist