PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/23/2016 – Trailing by as many as 11 points early, the Temple Owls found a way to overcome the deficit and come away with a 72 – 67 win over the Tulane Green Wave at McGonigle Hall. It was victory number 800 for the women’s basketball program.
In the beginning Temple appeared sluggish, and Tulane worked the ball inside to get close in shots or three-pointers by Kolby Morgan, who led the Green Wave with 22 points. Temple finally got the defense going which gave them energy, then found a pace to their liking. Once the Cherry and White established that, the come back stage was set.
“I felt like we were not playing with a lot of intensity and passion,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “We had to snap out of it. We thrive on getting stops.”
Going into the fourth quarter the game was tied at 51. The Owls took the lead on a three-pointer by Donnaizha Fountain, then another huge three-ball by Khadijah Berger, who had a season-high 12 points, gave the Owls some breathing room. Berger was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Temple took control with an 11 – 3 run to take a 68 – 59 lead with two and a half minutes remaining. The Owls did it from the foul line making 7 of out 9 free throws over that span. Yet, the Cherry and White had a last minute scare as the Green Wave scored 8 of the last 10 points to get to within a possession. Back to back three-pointers by Morgan and Leslie Vorphal and a Temple turnover gave Tulane one last chance. Temple’s defense held.
Tulane shot the ball well early. The Green Wave make 57.1% in the first quarter, but finished the game shooting 38.7% (24 of 62). The Owls were 21 of 53 from the floor for 39.6%).
“Once we started pressuring the ball, we got out in transition,” Butts said about the team defense getting stronger during the game.
Butts led Temple with 22 points highlighted by making 10 of 11 from the charity stripe earning the admiration of her coach.
“More importantly Alliya made her foul shots today,” Cardoza said.
Feyonda Fitzgerald added 13 points and had 9 assists. Covile was a perfect 8 of 8 from the free throw line scoring 12 points. Tanaya Atkinson pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
For Tulane Chinwe Duru scored 18 points making 7 of 10 from the floor.
Temple is 18 – 9 on the season and improves to 12 – 4 in The American as Tulane drops to 10 – 6 in conference. The Owls prepare for a Saturday game at USF before returning home to close the regular season hosting UCF.
“We prepare for one game at a time,” Cardoza said about the upcoming games. “We will focus on ways to try and beating USF. We know it’s on the road. They are going to want this game just as much because we beat them. We have to focus in on how we can limit their scoring opportunities and our finding a way to score.”
Temple wore pink uniforms for Breast Cancer Awareness in honor of legendary coach Kay Yow and benefiting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Written By: Glenn Papazian