TALLAHASSEE — Coming off various games of close wins and losses, Temple faced it’s toughest opponent yet this season. Temple stepped in Tallahassee to play against their highest ranked opponent, the #13 Florida State Simonles. Coming in on a six game win streak, apart of their 6-1 record, they looked to take advantage of a Temple team who had been struggling the past few games to compete well in the second half, most notably the 4th quarter. Those struggles continued for Temple, as they struggled to keep the game competitive in the second half of this game, specifically the 3rd quarter. For the game as a whole, though, Temple was behind in every statistical category, besides steals, three pointers made, and three point percentage. Florida State guard Brittany Brown also did well defending high scorer Feyonda Fitzgerald, limiting her to a season low five points, marking the first time all season she hasn’t hit double digits. The leading scorers for Temple in this game were Tanaya Atkinson, who has shown takeover flashes in past games, and Donnaizha Fountain with 14 and 13 points, respectively. The game was competitive for the first half, and then Florida State completely took over the second half and took the game out of reach.
The first quarter was Temple’s best quarter, as the game was pretty equal for most of the quarter. There were no big runs by either team, and pretty much after every score, or every other score, the other team scored again. The quarter ended 20-18 off a big three pointer by Feyonda Fitzgerald at the last second of the quarter, which looked to spark some energy in Temple at first.
The second quarter wasn’t too bad for either team either, as they both stayed pretty even with each other throughout the quarter. There was about a three minute period of time where neither team scored, though, which obviously didn’t help or harm either team. Temple held it’s largest lead of the game, eight, around the five minute mark of the quarter until Florida State started shredding off the lead, and eventually put themselves on top at the end of the quarter, 34-30.
The third quarter is where it all went downhill for Temple. In a quarter where Florida State scored 19 points, Temple only managed four. Temple’s only two baskets came four minutes into the quarter, and then seven minutes into the quarter. The biggest issue that came about during this quarter was a large amount of missed jumpers and turnovers for Temple, and a large amount of free throws for Florida State. Florida State wound up going 18-22 in free throws for the game, and most of them came during this quarter. There were moments where Temple could’ve attempted to catch back up, but the shots just weren’t falling for them, and they weren’t getting any free throws. Overall, this quarter is what won Florida State the game as they dominated from the start to the finish of it.
Temple’s scoring ways came back to them in the fourth quarter, but it was just too much of a deficit at that point. While Temple was able to add 13 points to their score, Florida State added 22 more to theirs. So while the offense started to come to life for Temple more than it had in the previously, the defense still wasn’t able to contain Florida State to make it any closer for them in the long run. In the previous games, Temple had been up far enough that their second half collapses didn’t seem as bad and kept the games close, whether they won or lost. But due to the fact that they were relatively close at the end of the first half, it made the collapse seem that much more glaring in the box score. Hopefully, Temple will be able to pick back up against Sacred Heart at home on Wednesday, but that will require a much stronger second half showing than we’ve been seeing recently.