Alliya Butts
Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball Hosts #17/16 DePaul on ESPNU on Thursday

PHILADELPHIA -- The Temple women's basketball team will host #17 DePaul in a nationally-televised showdown on ESPNU. The 5-3 Owls and the 6-3 Blue Demons will tip-off at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at OwlsTix.com or at the door.

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PROMOTIONS
In addition to the regular in-game entertainment, Temple will be giving away several Under Armour gear packages. Free pizza will be available to all students and there will be many more prizes given away throughout the game. 

SCOUTING TEMPLE
Temple is 5-3 on the season, most recently recording a huge 83-48 win on the road at Villanova. 

Four players average in double-figures in scoring, topped by senior Feyonda Fitzgerald, who is averaging 18.9 points, recorded 18.7 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. Junior Alliya Butts averages 17.4 points per game with a team-best 19 steals, while junior Donnaizha Fountain averages 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Junior Tanaya Atkinson contributes 15.2 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game, but has been sidelined due to injury since early in the first quarter against Vermont on December 4. She is expected to be available for Thursday's game.

Junior Khadijah Berger averages 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, while senior Ruth Sherrill averaged 3.7 points and 4.9 boards per game. Sherrill made her first career start at Villanova, and has recorded back-to-back 10+ rebound games. Senior Safiya Martin (2.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg) has started all eight games and leads the Owls with 11 blocks on the season. 

As a team, the Owls average 72.8 points per game, shooting 38.4% from the field and 32.9% from long-range. The Owls have out-rebounded opponents by a 4.1 margin, while forcing an average of 16.6 turnovers per game. 

LAST TIME OUT
Temple clinched at least a share of its first Philadelphia Big 5 title since 2011 with a huge 83-48 victory on the road at Villanova on Saturday afternoon. Temple, which played only five players for the bulk of the game, shot 46.8% from the field, holding Villanova to just a 31.1% shooting effort. The Owls held a considerable advantage on the glass, out-rebounding the Wildcats 50-27, while turning the ball over a season-low eight times. 

Senior Ruth Sherrill had a career-best game in points (13) and rebounds (13), recording her first career double-double, while junior Donnaizha Fountain had her first double-double of the season, and fifth of her career, tallying 17 points with a career-best 16 rebounds. Junior Alliya Butts dropped a season-best 27 points with five assists, while junior Feyonda Fitzgerald had another great all-around game with 20 points and eight assists. Senior Safiya Martin rounded out the box score with season bests of six points and eight rebounds.  

SCOUTING DEPAUL
#17/16 DePaul enters the game with a 6-3 overall mark, with their three losses coming to opponents who were in the national top-five at the time (#2 UConn, #2 Notre Dame, #5 Baylor).

The Blue Demons bring a high-powered offense to McGonigle Hall, featuring six players who average over 8.0 points per game. Jessica January, who earned Pre-Season All-American and Pre-Season Big East Player of the Year honors, leads DePaul, averaging 16.4 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game. Ashton Millender adds 12.8 points per game, shooting 46.8% from the field, while Jacqui Grant contributes 10.8 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds an outing. Also aiding the Blue Demon offense are Brooke Schulte (9.3 ppg), Amarah Coleman (8.3 ppg) and Kelly Campbell (8.3 ppg).

DePaul's offense averages 81.8 points per game, shooting 41.5% from the field and 33.9% from three.  The Blue Demons force opponents an average of 19.1 turnovers per contest, making up for being out-rebounded by a slim margin. 

LAST TIME OUT
DePaul was upended by No. 2/1 Notre Dame, 75-61, on Saturday night. 

The Blue Demons trailed by six at halftime, but rallied to tie the game at 38-38 in the third quarter. Notre Dame then used a 7-0 run to close the third, and DePaul got no closer than a 61-51 score the rest of the way. 

Jessica January tallied 19 points, six rebounds and six assists, with Brooke Schulte notching 19 points and six rebounds. Amarah Coleman and Kelly Campbell added six points each in the loss.

THE OWLS VS. THE BLUE DEMONS
Temple and DePaul have met just one time in the history of the programs – a 1982 WNIT game in Amarillo, Texas. Temple won that contest, 84-68, to close the tournament with a 2-1 record. 
 
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