Philadelphia- Temple women’s basketballs season came to a crashing end on Monday night with an overtime thriller loss to Memphis.
The Owls will head into the ACC tournament with a disappointing regular season record of 11-18 (3-13 in conference play), after starting off 8-3. After a hot start, the remaining 18 games, the Owls would go 3-15.
On Senior Night, the Owls got a big boost from their best senior in Tanaya Atkinson, who hit a game-tying three-pointer to force an overtime period, but ultimately the Owls fizzled out, losing 83-78 to the Tigers.
Temple led and maintained control for most of the game, it wasn’t until the end of regulation until Memphis took the lead. Tanaya Atkinson scored six of the Owls last points to force an overtime period, as she made sure to shine in her final game at McGonigle Hall. Atkinson compiled 25 points, 14 rebounds, five steals, and five assists.
Seniors Khadijah Berger and Mykia Jones scored eight points each, with Berger also adding five assists on the night.
Temple took an early lead in the first quarter and the game pretty much went back and forth from there.
Both teams made significant runs in the third quarter, starting with a 7-0 Temple surge that put the Owls up 30-22. Memphis answered with eight unanswered points to tie the game at 30-30, but Temple made sure to be up at the half after a big 3 pointer to hold a 33-30 lead at the half.
The game went back and forth again before the Tigers went on an 11-3 run to take a 68-65 lead. Then, Atkinson hit an off-balance, miracle three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
The Owls scored first, but it was not nearly enough. Memphis iced the game from the free throw line by outscoring Temple 15-10 in the overtime period, to hold onto an 83-78 victory.
The Owls will be the No. 11 seed for the AAC conference tournament. They will take on the Wichita State Shockers on Saturday in Connecticut. The Owls lost to the Shockers earlier this year by a score of 88-81.
“We’re not playing for anything except pride,” Cardoza said. “The last thing you want to do is go into the tournament and just go through the motions. It’s a basketball game and as a basketball player, no matter what the situation, you always want to compete and try to win basketball games.”