Streak Is The Word of The Night in Temple 67-34 Win Over Fordham

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA - Although one team was from the Bronx in New York Wednesday night, Temple was the squad with the bombers in a one-sided 67-34 victory over Fordham in an Atlantic 10 matchup in McGonigle Hall.

   The Owls (11-5, 1-1 Atlantic 10) connected on 11-of- 23 three-pointers following up their school-record 13 treys in Sunday's conference loss at nationally-ranked Xavier.

    Shaqwedia Wallace scored 17 points for Temple, BJ Williams scored 13 points, as did Kristen McCarthy, while Marli Bennett scored 10 points.

    Randall Hurst had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Fordham.

   Once again, Temple's LaKeisha Eaddy was sidelined because of a recent concussion but it made little difference in terms of slowing Temple down against the Rams (6-11).

   "Temple is really good," Fordham coach Cathy Andruzzi said. "One thing now is they really can shoot the three. If Eaddy had played against Xavier it might have been interesting as to how the game went."

    As the headline said, "Streak" was the word of the night for Temple.

   For one, the Owls separarted themselves from a three-game losing streak, all competitive losses to nationally-ranked teams. They also stopped Fordham from scoring for more than 13 minutes.

    Asked afterwards if she had ever been in that situation, Temple coach Tonya Cardoza paused and then reminded the reporter that she once worked as an assistant at Connecticut where those situations occurred many times.

     She was even around for the famous 70-game record win streak that Connecticut rode with an unbeaten 2001-02 season and then into the 2003 Big East tournament until Villanova pulled the stunning upset in the conference title game.

  With the heavy lifting behind Temple, -- all three teams including Duke and Florida State will be feeding strength to the Owls' RPI indxex -- Cardoza knows her team is in now in position to deliver damage to its entire slate of Atlantic 10 competition the rest of the way.

    That begins Saturday when arch-rival St. Joseph's visits the Liacouras Center at 4:30 p.m. after the men play first.

    The game also counts as Big Five but with Villanova having tucked away the City Series title, the psychological emphasis is on conference performance and chasing after an NCAA berth into March.

    "Overall our effort has been really good the last two weeks," Cardoza said. "We've come out with a lot of intensity and passion for the game.

     "It's the first time in a long time we've put a team away when they were down," she added.

     "After the three games we just played and the competition we just played against, we showed we can play with anyone," Cardoza noted. "So what we're looking at right now is that anyone just ahead in our path, we're looking to play with the same time of intensity, just step on the gas and roll through this A-10 with passion and heart and determination to try to win every single game down to the end."

     A year ago, Temple scrambled at the finish at the end of the regular season against the top of the conference to lock up an at-large bid. If the Owls' make good on Cardoza's goal this time, the players won't be sitting around on Selection Monday biting their nails to see if they are going to the Big Dance.

     -- Mel