PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/29/2016 – The Temple Owls clinched the third seed in the upcoming American Tournament by defeating the Knights of the University of Central Florida 78 – 64 on Senior Night at McGonigle Hall. One of the honoree seniors was guard Erica Covile who capped her regular season career with a milestone as she became only the fourth player in program history with 1,000 points, 750 rebounds, and 150 steals. Once reminded of the accolades, she credited her teammates for the accomplishments.
“I’m excited and thankful for my teammates,” said Covile. “Without them I wouldn’t have got my one thousand points.”
For the game Covile scored 18 points, a season-high, and took down 12 rebounds. It was her 16th career double-double, all happened over the past two seasons. She is the 23rd player in program history to score 1,000 points.
She got the 1,000th career-point on a three-pointer with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter. It was the start of 8 point run by Covile and allowed Temple to take a 48 – 36 with 5:43 in the stanza. That lead would grow to as many as 18 points going into the final period.
Tanaya Atkinson was the leading scorer for the Owls getting 24 points on the night. Donnaizha Fountain netted 18 points. Feyonda Fitzgerald had 9 assists giving her 157 for the season placing her in a tie for 4th place for single season assists in school history. Alliya Butts had 6 assists. The guard duo of Fitzgerald and Butts are the leader scorers for the Owls. When these players get a high number of assists, it is important for the Cherry and White.
“It’s huge,” Cardoza said. “Other teams try to take them out of the game, but these two came in with the mindset of their three guys can’t guard our three guys, so let’s put them in a position that they can score. They set up their teammates.”
Fifi Ndour led UCF in scoring with 16 points, pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds, and handed out 7 assists. Aliyah Gregory scored 15 points.
The Owls will meet the winner of the #11 vs. #6 seed game in the American. Those places are still to be decided, but Houston will be the 11th seed with the 6th seed to be determined between Tulsa and SMU. Cardoza feels her team is ready for conference tournament play.
“We know what we are heading into,” said Cardoza. “Now, it’s about being smart and playing good basketball finding ways to get wins. That’s what it is about now. It’s one and done. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, you’re going home. Our guys are hungry and they don’t want it to be over. They want something special. I know they will continue to fight.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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