January 13, 2021 –
It was the first conference loss for the Temple Owls and the end of a four game winning streak as the Cincinnati Bearcats take a 71 – 65 win on the Owls home court.
The game was close throughout, but Cincinnati pulled away in the last two and a half minutes to earn the win.
“It was a tough matchup for us, but down the stretch we were in the game with what we had out there,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “They did the best they could. I feel like a couple of possessions here and there we could have done better and the outcome would have been different.”
The clock read 2:41 in the fourth quarter. Temple took a 63 – 62 lead on a layup by Owls guard Emani Mayo. The Bearcats closed out the game with a 9 – 2 run led by Ilmar’l Thomas and Jillian Hayes.
“They capitalized off our turnovers and us not communicating on things leaving people open,” said Temple forward Mia Davis about the decisive run.
The game featured a matchup of the two players named the American preseason co-players of the year, Thomas and Davis. Thomas got 24 points and 12 rebounds. Davis scored 20 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
This one also gave us a glimpse into the future where freshman made their mark on the contest. Hayes of Cincinnati contributed 20 points and 4 rebounds. Jasha Clinton set another career-mark in scoring for the Owls getting a team-high 23 points along with 5 assists and 4 steals.
Both teams were short-handed. Temple had a key loss as forward Alexa Williamson was unable to go. Not having her in the lineup altered the Owls defensive strategy.
“Basically, we had two-three guards trying to guard Ilmar’l (Thomas),” said Cardoza. “If we had Lex (Williamson) in the game we don’t need that much help, so Hayes doesn’t get open looks.”
The Owls are 4 – 4 on the season and 4 – 1 in the American. They play again next week at Houston.
Written By: Glenn Papazian