PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/16/2017 – This game was after an emotional Big Five battle against Villanova and before a much anticipated match against defending national champion South Carolina coached by former Temple coach Dawn Staley. The Owls would have to be ready against the Red Foxes of Marist. The game was close as expected, but Temple took the lead in the third quarter and held it winning 83 – 77 at McGonigle Hall.
“They’re a lot like Villanova in that it’s a lot of movement, a lot of guys that can shoot the ball from the perimeter,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “It is a tough match up to defend them. We found ways.”
The Owls took a 67 – 60 lead with 4:49 to play on the final quarter. The Red Foxes began their comeback crawling to within 75 – 73 with less than a minute to play. There were less than 30 seconds left when guard Emani Mayo made a three-pointer from the deep corner stretching the lead to five. Temple converted 5 of 6 from the free throw line to cement the victory.
Mayo finished the game with 11 points. Three came from beyond the arc and all of her points by the freshman were scored in the fourth quarter. Tanaya Atkinson led the Cherry and White in scoring with 25 points and 8 rebounds. It was only the second game of the season where the senior guard did not register a double-double. Freshman forward Mia Davis registered her third double-double of the campaign scoring 18 points and taking down 15 rebounds.
It was a career day for junior guard Lena Niang who set career-marks in points with 18 as she sank 6 of 8 from beyond the arc and minutes putting in 27 for the game.
“When the first one went in I felt like ‘I got it,’ said Niang. “Then I made the second one.”
Marist (3 – 8) was lead by forward Alana Gilmer who set a career-mark with 24 points. She was 11 for 18 from the floor. Her 4 assists were another career-high, and she had a team-best 8 rebounds. Fellow guard Maura Fitzpatrick added 15 points. Guard Rebekah Hand added 14 points.
The Owls outrebounded the Red Foxes by a 43 – 27 margin which led to an 18 – 7 edge in 2nd Chance Points. The rebounds had a big impact on the game.
“It was huge,” Cardoza said. “Mia (Davis) got some key defensive rebounds for us. That always be important for us because we are smaller and have to go and get rebounds.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian