PHILADELPHIA — Visiting Saint Joseph's out-scored Temple 24-13 in the fourth quarter to hand the Owls a 70-67 loss in Big 5 women's basketball action at McGonigle Hall on Sunday. The loss was the third-straight for the Owls who move to 2-3 on the season, while the Hawks snapped a three-game skid to improve to 1-3 overall.
Temple led by as many as 14 points in the game, and were up by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter. However, a 14-3 run from Saint Joseph's was the turning point as the Hawks won their fourth-straight over Temple.
Temple had three players in double-figures led by junior Feyonda Fitzgerald
who finished with 19 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Sophomores Tanaya Atkinson
(12 points) and Alliya Butts
(10 points) also aided the Temple offense, which out-shot Saint Joseph's 46.4% to 41.4%.
Elsewhere for the Owls, junior Erica Covile
finished with nine points in just 11 minutes of action, due to foul trouble, while sophomore Donnaizha Fountain
had nine points, connecting on all three attempts from the field. Graduate student Ugo Nwaigwe
also had a solid game, scoring four points and tying Atkinson for the team-lead in rebounds, pulling down six boards.
Temple's offense rolled through the first five minutes of play, as the Owls built a 12-6 lead. Butts had a pair of three point plays early in the half, one from long range, and the other the hard way, sparking the offense. Saint Joseph's responded with a 5-1 run, cutting it to 13-11 after a Chelsea Woods lay-up and free throw. After Temple increased its lead six on an Nwaigwe lay-up, the Hawks again cut it to four from the free throw line. The Owls got a Fountain three at the buzzer, though, increasing the cushion to 24-17 after one.
Saint Joseph's struck first in the second quarter, as a three from Kathleen Fitzpatrick cut the Owl advantage to 24-20. Back-to-back Temple buckets (Fitzgerald, Safiya Martin
) then gave Temple its largest thus far (31-23) with 4:47 to play. The Hawks counted with four-straight points from Ciara Andrews to cut the deficit to four, but Temple closed out the half with two each from Fountain and Fitzgerald as the Owls led 35-27 at the break.
Temple had the edge to start the third, turning their eight-point lead into 14 with a pair of Fountain free throws that capped an Owl surge. After the teams traded buckets to keep Temple up 14 with 5:27 left in the frame, Saint Joseph's scored nine unanswered points to whittle the lead to just five at 49-44. The Owls then rebounded with a 5-2 run, closing the quarter with an eight-point edge, 52-46.
To open the fourth, Temple pushed its advantage to nine points, which it held until the 7:45 mark in the frame. From there, a 14-3 run by SJU, capped by a Sarah Fairbanks jumper, gave the visitors their first lead of the game at 62-60 with 3:18 to play. However, on the next Temple possession, Fitzgerald nailed a three to put the Owls back in front (63-62) with under three to play.
A back-and-forth game followed with the teams trading scores and leads three times, until a lay-up from Chelsea Woods put Saint Joseph's up 68-67 with 21 seconds on the clock. On the next possession, Temple had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but couldn't connect and were forced to foul with four seconds to play. SJU's then Ciara Andrews nailed two free throws to make it 70-67 for her 26th and 27th points of the game. A last-ditch three for Temple missed the mark, and Saint Joseph's sealed the victory.
Temple is back in action with another Big 5 game at home, as the Owls host Villanova on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.Box Score (PDF)
| Post-Game Press Conference