February 24, 2021 –
The Temple Owls looked to upset the #13 USF Bulls. The Owls lead 40 – 35 after three quarters. But USF outscored Temple 21 – 7 in the final 10 minutes and remain undefeated in the American with a 56 – 47 victory. The Owls were there, primed for the signature win. It got away and was a disappointment for the team.
“Very disappointing,” said Owls forward Mia Davis. “We could see very clearly we were right there with them.”
The game evolved into one where points would be at a premium it was on the defense. The effort for the Cherry and White was there. After three quarters USF was at 35 points, half of their per game average.
The fouls eventually cost Temple with two starters on the bench, and free throw shooting. The Cherry and White committed 20 personals to give the Green and Gold 19 points at the stripe.
“To hold them to fifty six points that was one of our better defensive efforts that we’ve had,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “But we gave them 19 points at the free throw line and if they’re scoring 19 points from the free throw line that means we’ve done a bad job in a sense that we committed fouls.”
With just under 9 minutes to play Davis gave the Owls a 42 – 37 lead. Kristyna Brabencova answered with a basket that started a 15 – 0 Bulls run over the next four and a half minutes. Temple could not respond on offense, then USF put the game away with from the free throw line hitting all 11 in the last quarter.
“It was a lost opportunity,” Cardoza said. “I feel like we had them, we had an opportunity. We were in the game in a great position but we did a lot of things to ourselves.”
Davis led the Owls with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Guard Jasha Clinton scored 20 points highlighted by 4 from three-point land. Alexa Williamson added 4 points. Those three players were the only ones who scored. Emani Mayo pulled down 9 rebounds.
There was one USF players who scored in double-figures, Shae Leveret scored 11 points and 5 points were from the charity stripe. Forward Bethy Mununga grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 8 points.
USF goes to 14 – 1 overall and 11 – 0 in the league.
Temple drops to 9 – 9 and are 9 – 6 in the American. The Owls go to Florida to play UCF over the weekend, then host Memphis prior to the league tournament. The team goes with the knowledge that they can compete with ranked teams. The mindset is simple for the Cherry and White.
“We’re just moving forward trying to win out,” Davis said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian