On their season debut, Temple came out to make a statement that their 20-17 season, and semifinals appearance wasn’t any sort of fluke. Although the box score wound up 97-91, Temple over Florida, the game was much more lopsided than it seemed. At one point throughout the game, Temple led by 20 points before nearly relinquishing the lead. It was Temple’s game to lose for much of the second half.
During the first quarter, Florida had a much better shooting performance, going 9-13 from the field, but committed too many fouls. The fouls that Florida gave up brought Temple to the bonus with around six minutes still left in the quarter. Temple capitalized on those shooting fouls by going 11-14 at the line, which offset a poor shooting quarter, where they only made 3-12 from the field.
During the second quarter, though, Temple wound up with a better field goal percentage, going 11/16 and 5/6 from three point range,while converting 5/6 free throws. Florida went 8/18 and 2/6 from three point range without taking a single free-throw. This assisted in a 21-4 run by Temple during the last 5:30 left in the quarter. By halftime, Temple guards Alliya Butts and Feyonda Fitzgerald each had 17 points.
In the third quarter, Temple showed even more dominance by stretching out a 10 point lead into a 15 point lead by the end of quarter. Butts and Fitzgerald were still padding their stats, having 20 and 26 at the end of the quarter respectively, but guard Tanaya Atkinson also joined in on the scoring party, finishing with 16 points at the end of the quarter. Three players on Temple’s team had more points that anybody on Florida, with guard Cassie Peoples leading their team with 12 points.
About two minutes into the fourth quarter, it looked as if this game was already over. Temple was leading 84-64 and Florida looked gassed. However, Florida went on a 16-2 run, which brought them to within six points left with 3:30 to play. Temple started to break off again by bringing the lead back to 10, but Florida went on another run which brought them to within three points with 24 seconds left on the clock. Florida then started to foul Temple to lengthen the game, however, the free throws that were killing Florida all throughout the game were the closing factor in a game that was decided by six points.
Cassie Peoples and Simone Westbrook tried their hardest to keep Florida within the game, scoring 18 and 14 respectively, but Temple guards had their way. Alliya Butts and Tanaya Atkinson, who scored 20 points apiece, and Feyonda Fitzgerald who wound up with a career high 32 points keyed the team to victory.