EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore both scored 15 points to lead three-time defending Atlantic 10 champion Temple to a 70-51 victory over Fordham in the conference opener for both teams on Wednesday night.
Michael Eric had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Lavoy Allen added 12 points for the Owls (10-3, 1-0), who took over the game by closing the first half on a 13-0 run for a 35-27 lead and opening the second on a 19-4 burst to take a 55-31 lead with 12:20 to play.
Freshman Branden Frazier had 16 points for the Rams (6-7, 0-1), who lost their third straight overall and 27th straight in the conference. Fordham was 1-15 in the A-10 in 2008-09 and 0-16 last season.
Fordham, under first-year coach Tom Pecora, built a 27-22 lead by going 4 of 7 from 3-point range while the Owls were struggling from outside the arc (2 of 8) and just weren't being effective inside.
That all changed in a hurry.
Eric started the closing run for the Owls when he converted on a 2-on-1 fast break. Fernandez hit a 3 to open things up a bit and the Owls' next eight points came inside, all but two by Allen, a 6-foot-9 senior forward who played for the USA Select team last summer.
It was back to Temple's balanced offense to start the second half with the points split between the perimeter and in the lane in the 19-4 run that put the Owls up 55-31. The closest the Rams would get the rest of the way was 15 points.
Temple came into the game leading the conference by allowing 59.8 points per game and opponents were shooting 38.3 percent from the field. This was the eighth time overall and the first time in four game the Owls held an opponent below 60 points.
Fordham finished 8 of 18 on 3s while the Owls made 4 of 15 attempts.
The Rams' last conference win was a 67-65 victory over St. Bonaventure on Jan. 28, 2009.