Temple (16-3) at Fordham (2-15)

Mostly Sunny Currently: New York, NY, US
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sat Jan 23, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Now the only undefeated team in Atlantic 10 play, Temple has its sights set on the program’s best start in 22 seasons.

The 16th-ranked Owls look to win their sixth in a row Saturday when they visit a Fordham team that’s lost 10 straight.

In a battle of the A-10’s only two undefeated teams, Temple (16-3) improved to 4-0 in the conference with Wednesday’s 77-72 victory over Xavier.

“This was a big win for us, a big opportunity to kind of go out there and gain first place in the league,” senior guard Ryan Brooks said after leading the Owls with 22 points. “We kind of showed people what we’re continuing to do along the season.”

What they’ve been doing is playing some of the best defense in the nation. Temple leads the A-10 in scoring defense with 56.8 points allowed per game and field goal defense at 37.9 percent.

A victory Saturday would give the Owls their best start since opening 32-1 in 1987-88, when they lost to Duke in the NCAA regional finals. Facing a Fordham team that’s dropped its last 10 by an average of 18.0 points could help the conference leaders add to their win total.

The Rams (2-15, 0-5) return to Rose Hill Gym after dropping their 15th straight on the road, 75-48 to Saint Louis on Wednesday. Fordham, which missed 30 of 45 shots, is last in the A-10 in shooting at 37.0 percent and is averaging 63.2 points - also worst in the conference.

The Rams could also struggle defensively against Brooks, the reigning A-10 player of the week, and junior forward Lavoy Allen. Brooks is averaging 25.5 points on 55.6 percent shooting in his last two games, while Allen is scoring 12.8 points and grabbing 10.0 boards per game during the win streak.

Allen, who had 19 points and 11 boards in a 72-45 home win over Fordham on Feb. 18, is 18 rebounds shy of tying Mark Macon for 12th all-time in program history with 700.

Allen, though, could be tested against Rams freshman forward Chris Gaston, second in the A-10 with 10.5 rebounds per game.

Sophomore guard Jio Fontan led Fordham with 14 points and seven assists last year against Temple, but last season’s A-10 rookie of the year transferred to Southern California five games into 2009-10, which was the same time Derek Whittenberg was fired and replaced by interim coach Jared Grasso.

Fordham, which shot 29.8 percent last season at Temple, has lost 15 straight to ranked opponents since a 68-67 victory over then-No. 24 St. John’s on Dec. 9, 2000.

The Rams won four of the previous five matchups against the Owls prior to the last meeting.

Related Articles