PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/18/2014 – In a game with numerous momentum swings the Saint Joseph’s Hawks defeated the Temple Owls 78 – 74 in overtime at the Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph’s guard Natasha Cloud made a layup with 28 seconds in overtime to give the Hawks a 75 – 72 lead. Feyonda Fitzgerald got Temple to within a point, but Saint Joe’s made three of four from the foul line to win it.
“We were fighting from behind in the first half and we came back showed what we are made of, and were able to hold on throughout the second half,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “They came back. There were a lot of ebbs and flows. Our team fought, stayed the course and they believed.”
Temple had the early advantage leading by as many 11 points in the first half. The Hawks made a run in the second half behind guard Kathleen Fitzgerald and forward Sarah Fairbanks who scored 17 of the Hawks next 19 points to turn a one point deficit into a 59 – 51 lead with 5:21 to play.
The Owls would show resiliency chipping way at the lead behind Fitzgerald, who scored 18 points in the game. The Cherry and White took the lead at 63 – 62 on free throws by center Safiya Martin. Saint Joe’s guard Ciara Andrews answered with a layup with 38 seconds left. Alliya Butts, who had a team-high 22 points, went to the foul line for Temple and made one of two from the line to tie it. The Hawks had two chances to win in regulation, but could not convert.
“We were down on the road against a really good Saint Joe’s team and found a way to come back,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “We could have taken a lead. It shows me a lot that they are not going to back down and compete.”
The extra period showed more back and forth until the Hawks took control behind Cloud’s layup.
“It was a good team win for us because we came together when it really mattered at the end of the game because we wanted it more,” said Cloud.
Fairbanks led Saint Joseph’s with a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds. Cloud was in foul trouble for most of the game finished with 9 points.
Martin registered a double-double for the Owls with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Guard Tanaya Atkinson scored 17 points and took down 11 boards.
The Hawks won their first of the season, the home opener, and got a Big Five win which has meaning for Saint Joe’s.
“The Big Five is the city and it always will be,” said Cloud. “It doesn’t matter who won the previous year. It’s always a fight.”
Temple is 1 – 1 overall and in city series competition.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
Contact: Glenn@Philly CollegeSports.com