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PHILADELPHIA - Temple women's basketball senior Victoria Macaulay
will be honored prior to tip-off for Senior Day when the Owls face Fordham at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. The game, Temple's last of the regular season, will be in McGonigle Hall. Fordham is having a very strong season at 21-7 overall and 11-2 in the Atlantic 10. Temple (12-16, 5-8) has clinched an A-10 Tournament berth, but can improve its seeding with a win.
THE OPENING TIP
•Temple has lost four straight, but will earn a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament regardless of the outcome of Sunday's game...The Owls are still playing for a better seed, as they will definitely be the 10, 11 or 12 with a loss.
recorded her 11th double-double of the season with 21 points and 13 rebounds in the most recent loss, 59-55 at Butler on Feb. 27...The Owls suffered a blow when she fouled out with two minutes remaining.
•The Owls were within nine points of #14/14 Dayton with seven minutes remaining, but allowed a big closing run by the Flyers in a 67-47 loss on Feb. 24...Temple's 26 turnovers led to a 31-6 edge in points off turnovers by Dayton.
•Temple's other three recent losses were closer, starting with a 49-41 OT loss at Saint Joseph's on Feb. 17 followed by a one-point, 54-53 loss to Xavier on Feb. 20...On Feb. 27, the Owls lost at Butler by four points, 59-55.
•The Owls led Xavier by five with a minute and half remaining, but a turnover with nine seconds left allowed the Musketeers to score the game-winning layup...Temple was unable to get a clean shot off in the final six seconds.
•The loss at Saint Joseph's broke a streak of 13 straight wins against the Hawks dating back to 2006...The Owls held SJU to 29.4 percent shooting from the field, but shot a season-low 25.9 percent themselves.
•In the Owls' most recent win they defeated Rhode Island at home, 56-45...Three players scored in double figures, led by Sally Kabengano
with 14 points, and Victoria Macaulay
with her 10th double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
•Temple currently ranks ninth among all teams in NCAA Division I in three-point field goal defense at 25.1 percent.
•Macaulay ranks ninth in the nation with 3.0 blocks per game.
•Over the last seven games, redshirt junior Natasha Thames
has averaged 11.1 rebounds per game...She grabbed a career-high 18 boards at #14/14 Dayton (Feb. 24) and recorded 15 rebounds at Charlotte (Feb. 6).
•Before this year, the Owls had not lost back-to-back Atlantic 10 games since the 2002-03 season...The eight conference losses are now the most since Temple went 5-11 in the A-10 in 1999-2000.
•Temple has six freshmen on a roster of 11, making the Owls the second-most inexperienced team in NCAA Division I women's basketball this season (San Jose State is in the top spot).
•Fordham recently reached the 20-win mark for the first time in 19 years...The Rams are 21-7 overall and 11-2 in the A-10, after previously not ever winning more than five games in the league.
Fordham's season will go down in the record books for the program, as the Rams stand at 21-7 overall and 11-2 in the Atlantic 10. They had previously never won more than five A-10 games, and the team just reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in 19 years. Fordham has won five straight including a 70-63 overtime win vs. Saint Joseph's on Feb. 24 and a 62-50 win vs. St. Bonaventure on Feb. 27. Graduate student forward Marah Strickland leads the team with 14.7 ppg while redshirt junior guard Erin Rooney is close behind with 14.4 ppg.
ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST FORDHAM
Temple has won the last 18 straight games against Fordham, and leads the all-time series 23-4. Fordham's last win came in the 1999-2000 season by a score of 79-78 on Temple's home court. Last season the Owls won 69-51 in McGonigle Hall, and the year before it was a 71-28 blowout win in the Bronx.
The Owls' only senior, Victoria Macaulay
, will be honored prior to tip-off on Sunday. She is one of the leading rebounders and shot-blockers in program history, and has only continued to improve over her four years with the program. She was a preseason Atlantic 10 First Team and All-Defensive Team selection this year and has proven worthy of those accolades. Macaulay was the 2012 Big 5 Most Improved Player, and led the team in rebounding last season as well as this season.
She has recorded 14 career double-doubles, and ranks 10th all-time with 697 career rebounds. She has blocked 203 shots to rank fourth all-time, and recently came just two shy of the program's single game record with nine blocks vs. Saint Louis. She will be escorted for Senior Day by her father, Lanre, her sister Diana, her two brothers Toby and Michael, and her boyfriend Jamel Williams.
MACAULAY MOVES INTO REBOUNDING TOP 10
Senior center Victoria Macaulay
now ranks 10th all-time in program history in career rebounds with 697. More than a third of those are from this season alone (257) and while she is only averaging 5.7 rpg for her career, she leads the Owls with 9.2 rpg this season.
FIGHT TO THE FINISH
While the Owls are experiencing a rough stretch at a key time in the season, the losses will not affect their ability to earn a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. They are currently tied for 10th with Saint Louis, but seedings cannot be determined until after all of Sunday's games.
The Owls put on a blocking clinic in their win vs. Saint Louis. As a team they blocked 13 shots, just two shy of the program record set in 1987. Victoria Macaulay
blocked a career-high nine shots, also two shy of the program record, set in the same game in 1987. With 203 career blocks, Macaulay sits alone in fourth place all-time. She has blocked at least five shots in five of the last eight games, and currently ranks ninth among all players in NCAA Division I with 3.0 blocks per game.
STREAK AGAINST THE HAWKS ENDS IN OT
Temple's streak of wins against Saint Joseph's, which had reached 13, ended on Feb. 17 in overtime at Hagan Arena. It was the first OT game of the year for the Owls, and the extra period did not match up to the intensity of the rest of the game. The Owls got the first bucket but did not score again, losing the game 49-41. Temple's Big 5 season is now complete, with a record of 1-3.
Three recruits have signed to play for Temple in 2013-14, with more expected in the future. The three so far are: Feyonda Fitzgerald, a 5-7 guard out of Norfolk, Va. (Lake Taylor HS, Boo Williams AAU), Taylor Robinson, a 6-4 center out of St. Louis, Mo. (Ladue Horton Watkins HS, Midwest Elite AAU) and Safiya Martin, a 6-4 center out of Fayetteville, Ga. (Sandy Creek HS, Georgia Pearls AAU).
After being stingy on three-point defense all season, the Owls have recently taken it to a new level and they now rank ninth in NCAA Division I in three-point field goal defense at 25.1%. They held Richmond to a single trey in 15 attempts on Jan. 31, held UMass to 3-of-18 (16.7%) from behind the arc on Feb. 3, held Charlotte to 2-of-10 shooting (20%) from three-point range on Feb. 6, and held Saint Joseph's to just 1-of-8 on Feb. 17.
MACAULAY TAKING CHARGE
Along with leading the team in a number of categories on the stat sheet, senior center Victoria Macaulay
ranks high among all Atlantic 10 players in five areas. She is averaging 14.3 ppg (7th), 9.2 rpg (4th), has a field-goal percentage of 43.7 (11th), has 3.0 blocks per game (1st) and 6.7 def. rpg (3rd). Macaulay's scoring numbers are particularly impressive when compared to the rest of her career. She averaged 3.0 ppg as a freshman, 4.6 ppg as a sophomore and 9.7 ppg as a junior.
OWLS RAISE OVER $1,000 FOR PLAY 4KAY
Through a dedicated fundraising effort, the Owls raised $1,013 for the Play 4Kay initiative which raises breast cancer awareness and funds for research. The team raised over $700 on their own, and a sizeable donation of $190 came from the JFK Medical Center employees.