The Lady Owls (13-15) basketball team faced American Athletic matchup UCF (10-18) on Saturday at the CFE Arena in Orlando, Florida.
Freshman Zykira Lewis of the Knights racked up a 14 point game-high and led the team in hopes to win at “Senior Knight.” Forward Brittni Montgomery edged her game to sink 12 point figures since December with back-to-back layups and concentrated free-throw shots.
The Owls’ guard Rateska Brown had a game-high just 1 point shy of Lewis, and worked her fail-proof threes on the court. Sophomore Monaye Merritt and Freshman Feyonda Fitzgerald fought just as hard, both contributing double figures.
It appeared the “Luck of the Irish” was favored to UCF on the game’s first day of March. The Knights held a 10 point lead almost halfway through the first, but the Owls did not let up. Temple battled the Knights despite the Owls’ 2 starters on the bench from fouls. As the clock neared 3 minutes to go, Brown scored a jumper to narrow the gap by just a margin of 2. 60 seconds later, Freshman Safiya Martin hit the second of 2 free throws, leaving Temple below UCF with a mere 1 point deficit. Sophomore Erica Covile tied the game at 27-27 from a free throw just before halftime.
The Owls took the second half by storm leading by almost 10 points near the halfway point. The team scored three consecutive treys at that point, 2 from Brown and 1 from junior Tyonna Williams. Fitzgerald helped along the way with a lay up earlier in the half. In just under a minute left, Temple regained and guarded its 10 point lead, crushing UCF for the second time this season 64-54.
TU suits up for its last league game Monday against Houston on home turf at 7:00 p.m in McGonigle Hall.