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–Temple women's basketball fell to USF, 72-69, in American Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon at the Liacouras Center
The Owls fell to 12-14 overall and 6-9 in the conference, while the Bulls improved to 15-11 overall and 10-5 in the league.
"There are no moral victories," said head coach Tonya Cardoza
. "We came in and expected to win the game, and we're disappointed in ourselves."
In the first half, Temple jumped ahead by four, 6-2, before USF tied the game at 8-8. The Bulls went ahead by four, 18-14, but TU utilized a 9-2 run to go ahead by three, 23-20 with 7:59 to go in the half. After a 28-28 tie, Temple led the rest of the way, going ahead by seven, 41-34, and took a one-point advantage into the locker room, 41-40, at halftime.
In the second half, the Owls held onto their lead for the first 10 minutes of action. USF tied the game at 58-58 and reclaimed the lead, going ahead by five, 67-62 with 3:52 to go. The Owls tied the game at 69-69 on a three-pointer by junior Rateska Brown
(Alvin, S.C.) with 45 seconds to play. USF sealed the win with three free throws.
Freshman point guard Feyonda Fitzgerald
(Norfolk, Va.) led the Owls with 23 points, scoring 15 in the first half alone. Junior Tyonna Williams
(Fort Washington, Md.) followed with 19 points, while senior Natasha Thames
(Port Huron, Mich.) added 10 points. Senior Shi-Heria Shipp
(Salisbury, N.C.) grabbed a game-high 10 defensive rebounds.
Courtney Williams was the only Bull in double figures. She finished with 35 points, two shy of the Liacouras record for an opponent player.
"I felt we gave her easy looks," Cardoza said of USF's Williams. "She shot the ball well. We could have defended her better."
Overall, Temple out-rebounded USF, 40-35. The Bulls shot 45 percent (29-64) from the field, compared to the Owls' 38 percent (23-60).
"We lost the game on the defensive end," Cardoza said.
Temple travels to regional rival No. 25 Rutgers on Wednesday, Feb. 26 for a 7:30 p.m. game at the RAC. The American Digital Network will broadcast the game live online.