Senior guard Khalif Wyatt led the Owls with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore forward Anthony Lee, who missed Saturday's win over Rhode Island with a hip pointer, returned to score 12 points and grab 10 rebounds.
"Every game is so critical in what we're trying to do," Temple head coach Fran Dunphy said. "If we have any hope of getting to the NCAA Tournament, we need to win as many games as possible. And this [was] the next chore in front of us."
After a sluggish start, Temple (22-8, 10-5 Atlantic 10) finished the first half on a 22-5 run to take a 28-17 lead into halftime. The Owls' surge coincided with Bronx native Daniel Dingle entering the game with 12:28 to go in the half; he scored six of the next eight points to give Temple its first lead at 14-12.
Dingle, who won a Catholic High School Athletic Association title with St. Raymond in this gym last year, surpassed his season-highs in points and minutes in the first half alone. He finished with seven points and two rebounds in 17 minutes.
"Coach gave me an opportunity to play since we're in my city and I appreciate him for that," Dingle said. "Khalif always tells me when I'm in the game to be in attack mode so this is an opportunity. I don't know if I'm going to see it again so I wanted to make the best of my opportunity and help my team out there."
During Dingle's first stretch of playing time in the first half, lasting roughly 6 1/2 minutes, Temple outscored Fordham, 14-2. Dunphy and Lee both praised Dingle for the spark he provided.
"If it wasn't for him in the first half, we probably wouldn't have been in as good shape as we were," Wyatt said. "I think before he got in there we were struggling but he brought some energy, offensively and defensively, he got some loose balls, and I'm just happy to see him out there."
Temple didn't let Fordham gain any momentum in the second half, grabbing its first 20-point lead with 14:03 left. Fordham didn't get closer than 15 the rest of the game as Temple rolled to a win to set up Sunday's big contest against No. 21 VCU.
"They've been playing great, and beating up people in the conference all year," Wyatt said of the other Rams. "They're going to try to come in Sunday and do the same to us. It's a great challenge for us, especially during this stretch of the season; it's a perfect test at this time of the year."