The Owls Fall 63 – 55 to SMU, Mia Davis Leads to Owls With 12 Points
March 8, 2022 –
The Temple Owls and the Mustangs of SMU met for the third consecutive time. Each team got a win in what would evolve into a three-game series in Texas. The idea would not be to win the series, the objective would be who would advance in the American Women’s Basketball Tournament. That team is the Mustangs who win the quarterfinal round game 63 – 55 at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX. Mia Davis led Temple with 12 points and 9 rebounds.
Rebounds and the Free Throw Line Went Against the Owls
Temple actually had a better shooting percentage and more field goals than SMU making 21 of 56 from the field (37.5%), and had two more three-pointers. But the Cherry and White fell short in rebounding the basketball by a 43 – 31 margin, 15 – 9 on offensive boards. The free throw line also worked against the Owls. The Mustangs went to the line 26 times converting 22, while the Owls made 8 of 12 attempts. The impact was felt.
“They don’t have a true post player, but they’re aggressive, they’re really aggressive,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “And the way that we had to defend them because of (Savannah) Wilkinson. We were leaving someone open a lot of times and that guy went to go crash. Like when we’re trapping, there’s an open guy and that guy definitely just went to the boards. Again, when you give people second-chance opportunities and put them on the free-throw line, it’s going to be hard to win basketball games.”
Those two categories would negate the better shooting numbers. SMU had a 14 – 6 advantage in second chance points.
SMU Defense Focused on Mia Davis
Davis made 4 of 14 shots and sank 4 of 5 free throws. She was the only Temple player to score in double figures. That is a tough situation for the Cherry and White as Cardoza pointed out that when Davis struggles, the offense struggles.
“A lot of teams double and triple-team me,” said Davis. ” Sometimes once I catch the ball and turn around, like I’m not laying it up or scoring it quick enough. So it’s a double-team and I don’t get it out
“I think we got in her space a little more on the perimeter and that was the difference,” said SMU Coach Toyelle Wilson. “We kind of had to be physical, we had to wall up, make her earn it.”
SMU would take command of the game in the fourth quarter behind a 9 – 0 run to lead 55 – 41 with just under 6 minutes to play. Temple cut the gap to 57 – 51 as a little under two minutes remained. The Mustangs got a basket and four free throws to close out the game. The Owls scored twice to pull to within 6 late in the game, then missed their next three shots to thwart the rally.
Jasha Clinton, who made 4 of 7 field goal attempts, recorded 9 points . Aniya Gourdine scored 6 points, and would lead the team in assists with 7 and 3 steals.
Savannah Wilkinson recorded a double-double for SMU with 10 points and 14 rebounds, a conference-high 13th. Two other Mustangs broke double-figures as Sydne Wiggins scored 10 points and handed out 6 assists. Jasmine Smith added 16 points. Those three players combined made 13 of 16 foul shots.
SMU will play top-seeded UCF in the semifinal round.
Davis played in what could be her last collegiate basketball game. Not the result she was hoping for, but will leave as the leading scorer in program history.
“I was actually pretty sad,” Davis said about leaving the floor. “It’s sad and I wish it would have ended a different way.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian