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March 6, 2013Temple guard Khalif Wyatt is all but a lock to become this season's Atlantic 10 and Big 5 Player of the Year. He's hit his share of clutch shots and brought the Owls back in some games they otherwise would have lost.
Wednesday night at Fordham, the senior managed to reach a new milestone in his career - his first double-double.
With game highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds, Wyatt and Temple overcame a slow shooting start to cruise past Fordham, 74-55, at cozy Rose Hill Gym. The Owls have now won six games in a row and stand at 22-8 overall and 10-5 in the A-10 heading into Sunday's regular-season finale against No. 21 Virginia Commonwealth at the Liacouras Center.
And depending upon how things shake out over the next four days, Temple could still finish within the top four in the A-10 regular-season standings and earn a first-round bye in the conference tournament, which begins next week in Brooklyn.
After trailing 9-4 early on, the Owls closed out the first half on a 24-8 run to gain a 28-17 halftime lead and get control of the game. Freshman forward Daniel Dingle, who grew up in the Bronx and played his high school basketball at nearby St. Raymond High School, scored six of his career-high seven points during that stretch, including the game-tying and go-ahead baskets.
After missing last Saturday's game against Rhode Island with a hip pointer injury, sophomore forward Anthony Lee started and collected 12 points and 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Senior forward Scootie Randall again turned in a solid effort, this time chipping in 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals in a team-high 35 minutes, and forward Jake O'Brien added 10 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
Jeffrey Short had a team-high 15 points for Fordham, which dropped to 6-24 and 1-13 in the A-10.
OwlScoop.com editor John Di Carlo can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @OwlScoop_com or @jdicarlo.