Temple Moves Into Tie For First Place in The American

Temple Defeats Tulane 69 – 52, Shares the Top Spot With North Texas

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/19/2024 –

For the Temple Owls women’s basketball team, the objective was clear. Win, and they would be tied for first place in the league. The team did not know that until coach Diane Richardson made the announcement the morning of the game. The team was excited.

Objective achieved. The Owls win 69 – 52 over the Tulane Green Wave and equals North Texas with a 9 – 4 record.

The excitement prior to the game did not equal the enthusiasm after the game. The team went to the band section to sing the fight song. At the post game press conference, all five starters took their place at the table along with Coach Richardson. It is meaningful for this group of Owls. They were having fun. And they know there is more for them.

“We’ve worked hard, all summer, all preseason to get to where we are right now,” said guard Demi Washington, a team captain. “We all believed it, our whole team believed it from the jump. Now, we are just putting everything together and proving to people that we are one of the best. We are the top team in the league. And we’re going to prove that for the rest of the season.”

Temple Goes ELO

The victory is their third straight. Over the past three weeks the team has gone 5 – 1 to improve to 15 – 10 overall. A sign of growth for this team that is now consistent according to Richardson. And playing to what they call ELO.

“The communication on defense,” Richardson said. “We’re better when we are communicating, knowing where the screens are coming from, things like that, and they’ve done that consistently. We have a term that we use, it’s called ELO; early, loud, and often. And they’ve been ELOing for the past few games.”

Second Quarter Surge

The game started slow with Temple trailing Tulane 16 – 12 after the first quarter. The Cherry and White erased that deficit with four three-point field goals to take a 24 – 21 lead that they would never relinquish. Aleah Nelson started that with the first basket of the quarter. The next trio of three’s came from guard Tristen Taylor, Nelson, and Tarriyonna Gary. It gave the team the lift they needed.

“It definitely gave us confidence,” Richardson said about the outburst. “We knew they outscored us in the first quarter and we needed to increase the intensity of our defense. They did that and the defense turned into offense. We get much more confident when we are getting stops defensively. And so they were letting them fly.

The Owls Hold Off the Green Wave

A Temple lead grew to 13 points at 47 – 34 midway through the third quarter. Tulane went on a 12 – 5 run to pull to within 52 – 46 as the last ten minutes started. The Cherry and White answered winning the fourth quarter by a 17 – 6 margin.

What the Numbers Say

Temple had four players score in double figures with Nelson and Washington leading the way with 16 points each. Tiarra East and Gary contributed 12 points apiece. East tied her career-high in rebounds with 11 caroms. This is her fourth double-double this season. The Owls forced 16 turnovers to get a 20 – 8 edge in points off turnovers. Seven turnovers were by steals and forward Ines Piper stole the ball a season-high 4 times.

Amira Mabry posted a double-double for the Green Wave with game-highs 18 points and 13 rebounds. Their 16 turnovers made the hill too steep to climb.

Next Up

Temple goes on the road over the next two games for games at UTSA and Rice. The objective? Keep the positive momentum going.

“UTSA, they’re playing very good basketball right now,” Richardson said. “This is a time when you want it to be turned on. But we are also playing very good basketball right now. It’ll be a tough game. But I trust my players. And I trust that they’re going to go down there and fight so we can continue to be in this position.”

And have fun doing it.


Written By: Glenn Papazian

Contact: Glenn@PhillyCollegeSports.com

Demi Washington (#12) Going to the Basket

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