Temple Women's Basketball Plays La Salle on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball Opens Season on Friday vs. La Salle

PHILADELPHIA – The Temple basketball season kicks off on Friday, with the Owls women's team hosting Big 5 rival, La Salle, at 4:30 p.m. The game is the opener in a men's-women's doubleheader at the Liacouras Center.

The women's game will be audio streamed live at OwlsTV, with the men's game being televised by ESPN3 and broadcast on 1210 AM. 

Temple and La Salle have met 42 times with the all-time series knotted at 21 wins apiece. The Owls took last season's match-up 60-47 on La Salle's home court, using a late 19-0 run to start the season, 1-0. 

La Salle finished 15-15 a year ago, with a 9-7 record to rank seventh in the A-10. The Explorers return eight letterwinners from last season's team, including four of five starters. Senior Alicia Cropper is expected to lead La Salle, after averaging 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 2013-14. She was named a pre-season All-Conference selection by the A-10 coaches. 

Joining Cropper is 2013-14 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie selection Micahya Owens, who poured in 13.7 points per game as a freshman last season. Owens added 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, and is joined by fellow sophomore Jasmine Alston, who scored 6.4 points and pulled down 5.9 rebounds a year ago.

Temple returns to the hardwood after finishing 14-16 overall and 8-10 (5th) in the inaugural year of the American Athletic Conference. This season's Owls were picked to finish fourth in the American pre-season poll, while sophomore Feyonda Fitzgerald was named a pre-season pick for the All-Conference team. 

Temple's roster features just five returning letterwinners for seventh-year head coach Tonya Cardoza. The Owls' welcome back Fitzgerald, last year's leading scorer, who averaged 12.9 points and 3.9 assists per game to earn second team All-Conference honors. She was also a unanimous pick for the American Athletic Conference All-Freshman team a year ago.  Fitzgerald will be joined in the back-court by senior Tyonna Williams (9.2 ppg in 2013-14) and junior Erica Covile (8.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg in 2013-14). 

Other returning letterwinners include sophomore centers Taylor Robinson (4.9 points, 14.7 minutes/game in 2013-14) and Safiya Martin (10.2 minutes/game in 2013-14). Robinson was also selected to the American's All-Freshman team a year ago. 

The Owls will have four new faces on the roster in freshmen Tanaya Atkinson (5-9, G), Khadijah Berger (5-10, G), and Alliya Butts (5-4, G), and junior transfer Mama Traore (6-1, F). All four newcomers are expected to see significant playing time, with Atkinson a likely starter in the opener. 

Temple women's basketball is 46-25 all-time in season openers, including a 14-4 record since 1995.

Tickets for all Temple men's and women's home games can be purchased via phone at 1-800-298-4200, online at comcastTix.com or in person at the Liacouras Center Box Office.

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