The second-seeded Temple Owls defeated the 10th-seeded Houston Cougars Saturday to move on in the American Conference tournament.
The win comes as Temple’s 24th of the season overall, and the Owls third in a row. It is also Temple’s eighth win in the last nine games.
The Owls were led by a record setting performance on the part of senior Feyonda Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald scored a game high 30 points, which is the most points ever scored in a single American Conference tournament game. The trio of Fitzgerald, and juniors Aaliyah Butts and Tanaya Atkinson combined for 65 of the team’s 67 points. Butts would finish with 19 points, while Atkinson would finish with 16.
Even though the trio of Butts, Fitzgerald, and Atkinson accounted for a majority of the scoring, both seniors Ruth Sherill and Safiya Martin each played key roles in the win. Sherill would notch a game-high 15 rebounds, while Martin would grab seven rebounds and tied a season high in blocks with four. The duo’s rebounding led to a 40-33 advantage on the boards.
“You know people just stepped up and made shots when they had to,” said Head Coach Tonya Cardoza.
One of those people that Coach Cardoza spoke of is Feyonda Fitzgerald. Alongside her record setting 30 points, Fitzgerald shot a solid 48 percent from the field. Out of Fitzgeralds 30 points, 18 would be scored in the second half. She would also notch game-high seven assist.
“Well at the beginning, I was a little cold so I was trying to find other ways I could help my team out,” said Fitzgerald. “Whether that was distributing the ball or getting to the basket. Then my shot started falling so I just kept shooting and doing what I had to do to help my team win the game.”
The win is the second straight opening round victory for the Owls in the conference tournament. Temple previously dropped two straight opening round matchups in their first two appearances in the American Conference tournament.
Leave a Reply