USF had control for most of the game, and Temple made a late rally- pulling within 2 points despite trailing by 16 in the fourth quarter. The game was lost after Temple failed to hit a three pointer on their last possession, despite having three opportunities to do so on offensive rebounds.
Some explanation for the loss is due to the Owls shooting a dismal 25.8% from the field compared to USF’s 40% from the field. Poor shooting performances from Temple star players plagued the team as leading scorer Feyonda Fitzgerald shot a mere 15% on the night, while Donnaizha Fountain (30%) and Aaliyah Butts (29%) from the field also struggled to find their stroke.
The Owls, who this season are shooting 31.4% from beyond the arc, shot 18.5% from the three on Sunday. It also didn’t help that Temple, who usually out rebounds their opponents by an average margin of 5.1 rebounds per game, were out rebounded by the Bulls 47-36.
Despite a poor statistical performance from the Owls, Temple managed to cut the lead to two late in the fourth quarter after trailing by 16 earlier in the frame. After a USF free throw put the Bulls ahead 47-31, Temple would spark an 18-4 run that cut the lead to 51-49.
After both teams traded baskets, USF’s Maria Jespersen would make one out of two free throws to push the lead to three. Despite having three three-point shot attempts, the Owls were not able to hit one and tie the game which would lead a USF rebound that would ultimately clinch the game for USF.
Temple will be back in action against the #1 ranked team in the nation, the UConn Huskies at the Liacouras Center Wednesday at 7pm.