The defending Big Five women’s champion Temple Owls started the current season Big Five schedule, and did so defeating the La Salle Explorers at the Gola Arena 69 – 52. Tanaya Atkinson led Temple with a game-high 21 points.
The game was competitive in the first half as the Owls (4 – 1, 1 – 0 Big 5) held a 29 – 25 lead at halftime. The third and fourth quarter went to Temple who made 51.5% of their shots. A significant run put the Cherry and White in control of the game. The Explorers (1 – 3, 0 – 1 City Series) mounted a comeback and got to within 53 – 49, but would get no closer. Temple won the fourth quarter by a 21 – 9 margin.
In addition to Tanaya Atkinson one other Temple player scored in double figures as Emani Mayo had 10 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Nine of the ten Owls who played in the game scored. The Cherry and White outrebounded the Blue and Gold by 48 – 28, on the offensive glass it was 23 – 7 Temple as Mia Davis pulled down a game-best 9 rebounds and Shannen Atkinson had eight boards, a career-high. Tanaya Atkinson grabbed 7 misses.
For the Explorers Adreana Miller led the way with 16 points, and Sofia Ngwafang added 10 points and a team-high 5 rebounds. Amy Griffin scored 8 points and added 6 assists and snared 4 misses. La Salle was good on 36% of their shots.
Temple returns home to face Ole Miss on Saturday, while the Explorers play on the Lehigh Christmas Classic facing New Hampshire in the first round also on Saturday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian