Sports

Owls drop third conference game, second to No. 1 Connecticut

No. 1 Connecticut beat the Owls 90-45 in Hartford on Wednesday to win its 102nd consecutive game.

The Huskies, ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, extended their winning streak to 102 games with a definitive win against the Owls.

Connecticut beat Temple 90-45 in Hartford on Wednesday thanks to a high-powered offensive performance. This marks the Owls’ (21-6, 11-3 American Athletic Conference) third conference loss and their second to the Huskies.

Connecticut shot 59 percent from the field, compared to Temple’s 27.1 percent Sophomore forward Napheesa Collier’s 31 points led all scorers.

“We were just not guarding guys that can shoot well and make their shots,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “A lot of times it’s easy for them to shoot a high percentage when they’re shooting layups in transition or easy buckets around the basket.”

The Owls ended the night with a season-high 26 turnovers, leading to 37 points off turnovers for the Huskies and fewer opportunities to score.

“We know that they thrive off of turnovers in the passing lane and we talked about that, but we still did that,” Cardoza said. “And that’s what they feed off of. That’s what gives them over 20 points off turnovers since they are able to get out in transition. The two games that we played, we haven’t given ourselves a chance because we’re turning the basketball over.”

Temple, ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press poll and No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches poll, allowed 42 points in the paint due to Connecticut’s size up front. The Owls finished with 28 rebounds, led by junior guards Tanaya Atkinson and Khadijah Berger’s six apiece. However, Connecticut outrebounded the Owls by 14.

Senior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald and junior guard Donnaizha Fountain were Temple’s leading scorers, each with 12 points. Fountain hit three of her four made baskets from behind the arc.

Connecticut outscored Temple 41-19 in the first half. Temple picked up its play in the second half, just like in its first matchup with the Huskies when the Owls outscored Connecticut in the second half. Temple scored 16 points in the third quarter but could not get stops on defense, allowing 25 points.

“We gave up way too many easy buckets in transition,” Cardoza said. “When they get out on transition, that’s when they’re deadly because they run the floor and have guys lined up.”

Temple has two conference games remaining in its regular season.The next game is on Saturday at home against Cincinnati.

Maura Razanauskas can be reached at maura.razanauskas@temple.edu or on Twitter @CaptainAMAURAca. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

Maura Razanauskas

can be reached at maura.razanauskas@temple.edu
Or you can follow Maura on Twitter @CaptainAMAURAca
Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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