The Fordham men’s basketball team hadn’t done much in the past 24 years to worry Temple before Wednesday night. Since joining the Atlantic Ten Conference in 1995, the Rams had lost 19 straight to the Owls and lost the last three meetings by a combined 56 points.
But poor shooting doomed the Owls (8-8, 4-1), who suffered their first conference loss of the season and their first loss to Fordham since 1981.
Junior guard Mardy Collins led the Owls with 17 points, two more points than the team scored in the entire first half. He was the only Temple player to score double figures. Sophomore Dustin Salisbery, freshman Mark Tyndale, and Collins shot a collective 0-for-15 from three-point range. The Owls shot .323 from the field in the game.
Last weekend, the Owls shot nearly 55 percent in a win over Xavier and Tyndale appeared to have mastered a technique for getting fouled on three-point attempts. He attempted 14 free throws in that game and shot a season-high .666 from the field.
Coach John Chaney denied that the freshman’s high number of trips to the foul line was due to skill.
“[Tyndale] shoots the ball with somebody right in his face. He hasn’t mastered it,” Chaney told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday.
“All they have to do is stay the hell off of him. He’ll miss them all,” he added.
The Rams (8-10, 4-3) apparently took his advice, as Tyndale shot 3-for-15 from the field and attempted no free throws in the game.
Fordham guard Jermaine Anderson led all scorers with 20 points. A-10 co-Rookie of the Week Bryant Dunston, who had seven points and nine rebounds.
The poor shooting overshadowed an otherwise solid night statistically by the Owls. The Owls outfought the Rams on the offensive boards, 18-11, and committed nine turnovers to the Rams’ 18. Tyndale finished with four of the Owls’ 10 team steals while the Rams had three steals.
But the Rams led by seven in the final scoring column, and that was what mattered.
TOO MANY GIMMES
Baskets weren’t easy to come by for the Rams, either. They shot .333 from the field. A large chunk of their scoring came from the foul line, where they attempted 23 free throws, converting 18 of those attempts. The Owls, by comparison, shot 4-for-13 from the free throw line.
The Owls encountered Fordham during a rare stretch of strong play by the Rams. With the win, Fordham (8-10, 4-3) has won three straight A-10 games at home.
Temple lost its lead in the A-10 East Division. Saint Joseph’s (8-8, 5-1) has more conference wins, and the Owls .800 win percentage is second to the Hawks’ .833.
Benjamin Watanabe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.