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– Before a record crowd, Temple women's basketball fell to No. 1 Connecticut, 93-56, in American Athletic Conference action on Tuesday evening at McGonigle Hall.
The Owls fell to 10-10 overall and 4-5 in the conference, while the Huskies remained perfect with a 22-0 overall record and 9-0 mark in the league. The 2,030 fans set the women's attendance record for a game at McGonigle Hall. The previous record was 1,900 against No. 2 Virginia on Nov. 30, 1991.
In the first half, UConn jumped out to a quick 14-point lead, 18-3, before the Owls went on an 11-0 run to come within three, 18-15. Temple extended the run to 19-4 and took over the lead from the nation's top team, 23-22 with 8:50 to go in the stanza. The Huskies regrouped and went on their own 11-0 run to close the half with a 49-32 edge.
"That's something we hoped we could sustain," Temple head coach Tonya Cardoza
said of her team's first-half burst. "I felt we really started fighting at that point. Our defense was creating easy buckets for us."
In the second half, Connecticut continued to build upon its double-digit lead before pulling out the 37-point win.
"It was like a boxing match," Cardoza said. "We hung with them for three rounds; they punched us hard at the end of the first half."
Junior Rateska Brown
(Alvin, S.C.) was the sole Owl in double figures with 13 points off the bench.
"Obviously it's great to have the No. 1 team play on your home court," Cardoza said. "I think we've grown since we the last time we played them."
Breanna Stewart led four Husky starters in double figures with a career-high 37 points. Stefanie Dolson added a double-double of 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
"They have so many weapons," Cardoza said. "We just couldn't guard them all."
"They've had a lot of heartbreakers where they could have won," Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said of Temple. "I love how hard they compete. I think Tonya's done a tremendous job down here."
Overall, UConn out-rebounded Temple, 39-30. The Owls shot 35 percent (22-62) from the field, while the Huskies shot 58 percent (39-67). UConn held advantages in points in the paint (44-28) and points off turnovers (30-19, while Temple led in second-chance points (15-9) and bench points (27-9).
Temple travels to Texas for two American Athletic Conference games. The Owls visit SMU on Saturday, Feb. 1 for a 4:30 p.m. contest at Moody Coliseum.