PHILADELPHIA (AP) – As he watched his team’s lead dwindle from 25 points to three, Temple coach Fran Dunphy knew every possession could be a game-changer.
Ramone Moore (above) scored 22 points to help the No. 24 Owls hold on for their fifth straight win, 77-66 over Fordham, on Wednesday night.
Scootie Randall and Micheal Eric each added 12 points for the Owls (18-2, 8-2 Atlantic 10), who forced 17 turnovers and had a 49-36 rebounding edge.
“Every possession is critical,” said Dunphy. “I think that’s the attitude you’re trying to get over to your kids.”
Temple now sits a half-game behind Xavier and Duquesne for first place in the conference.
Lavoy Allen had a season-high 14 rebounds, seven points, and four assists for Temple before leaving the game late in the second half with an apparent left ankle injury.
“We’ll see,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “Everything will be determined probably tomorrow when he gets up. They’ll put him in a cast tonight and see how he’ll react. I don’t know. It’s too soon to tell.”
Chris Gaston scored 27 points for Fordham (6-16, 0-10), which has dropped 12 straight games and has yet to win in 2011.
The Rams, who had only seven players available because of injuries, rallied as Temple missed 18 of its first 20 shots from the field after halftime.
Dunphy hopes it serves as a wake-up call for his players.
“I think that’s the only way we can look at it,” he said.
Fordham trailed 53-50 after Frazier hit a three-pointer with 13:17 to play. The teams traded a few empty possessions before Randall scored on an alley-oop layup to kick off a 6-0 Temple run.
It was 62-57 after Alberto Estwick made a 3 for Fordham, but Randall answered with one at the other end for Temple. Less than a minute later, Juan Fernandez, who had been on the bench with four fouls, returned to the game and knocked down a 3 that made it a 69-57 game.
“It’s a long season, and we’ve played now 23 games. I don’t know that we’ve been able to be complacent in any game,” Dunphy said. “There was a lot of things they did, I thought, that were terrific, but there was a lot of things we did in the stretch that were really good in the first half.”
(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)