Fordham-Temple Preview

BY foxsports • February 8, 2011

Temple should fare well in its return to the Top 25 given the venue and opponent for Wednesday night's matchup.

The 24th-ranked Owls have won 18 straight at home and will be heavily favored to hand last-place Fordham a 12th straight loss and 36th in a row in Atlantic 10 play.

This will be the fourth stint in the rankings for Temple (17-5, 7-2), which was No. 22 in the preseason before falling out Nov. 29. The Owls re-appeared at No. 25 on Dec. 27 and dropped out one week later, and came back in the following week before exiting again one week later.

Temple has won 32 of its last 34 home games, including all 10 this season. The Owls have won four straight overall after Saturday's 80-67 home victory over Rhode Island.

"I say it's our fans, (they've) shown a lot of support," senior forward Lavoy Allen said. "We gotta pay them back by winning a lot of games."

Fordham (6-15, 0-9) has not won a conference game since beating St. Bonaventure 67-65 on Jan. 28, 2009. The 35-game A-10 losing streak is the longest current conference skid in Division I.

The Owls are 36-13 all-time against the Rams, and are trying to avoid looking ahead to Saturday's game at Dayton, which is 13-2 at home.

"I think what we've talked about is just making each week a separate entity," coach Fran Dunphy said. "Now we're going to be home against Fordham on Wednesday, be ready to go with that, and then go on the road to Dayton on Saturday."

Scootie Randall will be hard-pressed to duplicate his effort from Saturday's win. He made his first eight shots and finished with 27 points, making a career-high six 3-pointers.

"His first-half performance was probably the sole reason we had some space between us and them," Dunphy said. "He was just terrific. Shooting 7 for 7 in the first half was terrific."

Reserve Khalif Wyatt scored 14 points in 14 minutes, and Allen and Ramone Moore each added 13.

"We've got a lot of good players," Randall said. "Anybody can step up at any given time so he (Dunphy) just says, 'Let the game come to you.'"

Point guard Juan Fernandez missed all six shots in his second game back after missing four with a knee injury. Fernandez did have six assists.

"He is a little reluctant and there's some rust associated with him starting to get back into the flow of things," Dunphy said. "He knows exactly what his role is and he's got to perform it better than he is right now."

Fordham is starting to see some injuries mount. Marvin Dominique is out for the season with a torn labrum while injured guard Lamount Samuell is out indefinitely. Freshman starter Branden Frazier was bothered by the flu in Saturday's 77-60 loss to Richmond.

"With Marvin Dominique and Lamount Samuell out, we were undermanned today," coach Tom Pecora said. "And Branden Frazier still isn't 100 percent."

Temple won 70-51 at Fordham on Jan. 5 as Moore and Fernandez each scored 15. Frazier led all players with 16.

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