Chris Gaston ended night with 12 points and 3 rebounds in final collegiate home game at Rose Hill. (Photo courtesy of the author's personal collection)
Fordham head coach Tom Pecora's opening statement:
"That's a good basketball team, and right now, we're a bad basketball team. That's the way it looked out there. It's about manning up. You've got to find a way to compete, and the young guys don't understand that right now. I wasn't thrilled with the effort, particularly on the defensive end. We didn't have an impact on the backboards, and it hurt us offensively."
On Chris Gaston and how he will be remembered:
"As I've said, he's been loyal to Fordham, and it's a shame that this is how he goes out in his last game. In his heart, I know he really wanted to be a part of turning this around, and it's a shame that he won't be here when we do. This wasn't a typical Chris Gaston performance...since he had his knee done, he hasn't had one of those 'monster' games, except maybe Butler."
"I wouldn't be shocked if they got into the (NCAA) tournament and ended up winning there."
Temple guard Daniel Dingle on his homecoming after playing at St. Raymond's High School in the Bronx:
"Coach gave me an opportunity to play in my city, and I appreciate him doing that."
Temple guard Khalif Wyatt on Dingle:
"His time's going to come eventually. I think he's going to have a great career here."
Temple head coach Fran Dunphy on Dingle:
"He's played well, but I just haven't had a chance to give him the minutes that he deserves."
Dunphy on forward Anthony Lee:
"He's a valuable member of our team, and we need him to be at his absolute best as we move forward."
On his team's approach to tonight's game:
"The way our season has gone, every game has been a huge game. This one presented a different challenge with what they (Fordham) brought to the table defensively."
On Chris Gaston and how he should be remembered:
"I think the respect that he got before the season by being named an all-league player is all you need to know about him. It's a shame that he missed so many games, because he's been a terrific player in this league and the numbers speak for themselves."
Nuggets of Note:
- Two Temple players ended the night with double-doubles, as Khalif Wyatt led all players with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Anthony Lee added 12 points and 10 rebounds for an Owls team that also got 14 points from Scootie Randall and 10 off the bench from Jake O'Brien, who saw significant minutes with Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson in foul trouble.
- Jeff Short led the Rams with 15 points, all from three-point range. Short was the most consistent offensive threat for Fordham, who battled most of the second half with Chris Gaston, Branden Frazier and Ryan Canty all in foul trouble in the final stanza.
- Temple ended the first half on a 24-8 run following a 9-4 Rams spurt to start the game, and never looked back from there. After Daniel Dingle put the Owls ahead 14-12 with 9:37 remaining in the first half, Temple never surrendered their lead, which grew increasingly larger as Fordham was unable to buy a basket during a night in which the home team shot just 7-of-28 in the first half.
- The Owls dominated every facet of the game as well, crushing Fordham 40-26 in the paint, scoring 17 points off 13 Ram turnovers, outmuscling them 20-12 in second chance efforts, and winning the battle of the benches by a 22-6 tally. Temple also outrebounded the Rams by a 44-36 count, one of the few times in recent memory where Fordham failed to amass more boards than their opponent.
- Finally, the Rose Hill Gym career of Chris Gaston comes to a close after fouling out with 6:42 left in regulation. Gaston, who posted 12 points and three rebounds, has a bright professional future ahead of him wherever he may end up. As both coaches mentioned tonight, it truly is a shame his senior season was sacrificed as much as it was, because all of college basketball was deprived to see a great player at his best. Gaston will be the subject of a more in-depth piece on this site in the coming days.