In a mid-week match up the Temple University women’s basketball team take on the Penn Quakers at home in the nest on Wednesday night.
The cherry and white come into the game (11-7, 2-1 Big 5) wanting to secure a share of the Big 5 title with Villanova, and Penn (10-3, 2-1) were in the same race for the championship.
The Owls were trailing the Quakers by 13 before the fourth quarter when they overcame the deficit and finished victorious 76-72.
Both teams started slow but it was Penn that go into the rhythm first, as senior guard Kendall Grasela controlled the pace of the game playing a total of 40 mins and picked up 15 points and seven assists.
Penn’s defensive efforts were affecting the owls, making it tough to drive into the lanes with their 2-3 zone defense.
Owls guard Marissa Mackins kept Temple in the game with her handles scoring 11 of the team’s 13 in the first quarter leading all scores at half.
Into the second half, the Owls made a clear come back to stay in the game but Penn’s cohesive unit did not make it easy.
Penn’s Coach Mike McLaughlin took his timeouts efficiently and making changes to the lineup by adding, junior guard Katie Kinum, who created chances for the Quakers with two timely steals giving Penn a 60-47 into the fourth.
Crashing the boards was junior forward Mia Davis, who leads the team in rebounds with 10.9 per game.
Davis earns a double-double last night with help from Ashley Jones with had key steals and assist with under five minutes to play in the game giving them the first lead of the night 64-63.
Penn’s stand tall center, Eleah Parker, worked from in the paint finishing with 17 points and 13 boards. In response, Mia Davis brought it to the hole in the final moments giving her an and-one-layup to go in the fourth with 17.7 seconds left to clinch the game.
The Owls picked up the crowd’s momentum and carried it to outscore the Quakers 29-12 in the last quarter. The Quakers outplayed the Owls for three out of the four quarters, but Temple found a way to the line for a total of 18 attempted free throws where 11 points were found.
Head coach Tonya Cardoza told media after the game “I’m really happy they got to feel this win and the way that it happened… knowing that it’s never over.” Coach stressed what a big take away this game was defensively for the girls down the stretch.
Temple won themselves a title while stripping Penn’s chances at tying a program record of an 11th non-conference win of the year.
“That was one of my goals from the very beginning,” Philadelphia local, Ashley Jones on sharing what it means winning a Big 5 title, “I was really happy.”
Non-conference is over for the Owls as they now focus on getting into the NCAA Tournament.