With just less than three minutes to go in the game, junior guard Alliya Butts hit a 3-pointer that put the Owls up by one, resulting in a wild roar from the crowd.
It was Temple’s first lead against Quinnipiac since 3:53 into the game. Despite a slow start, the Owls rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Bobcats 71-68 Sunday at McGonigle Hall. Temple has won three of four games to start the regular season.
Butts led the way for the Owls, finishing the game with a team-high of 24 points, 13 of which were scored in the fourth quarter.
“My shots started to fall,” Butts said. “I got confident and just kept shooting.”
In the fourth quarter, Temple outscored Quinnipiac 26-20 despite the Owls’ small rotation of players compared to the Bobcats. Ten players subbed in and out for Quinnipiac, while Temple relied on eight and used only seven in the final 6:28 after senior forward Ruth Sherrill fouled out.
“It was tiring,” senior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald said. “It was the same five that were out and maybe one or two substitutions from our team, but for them, it was a constant five in, five out. It was tiring, but we wanted it more so we went in and did what we had to do.”
The starters paved the way to a win for Temple, as Butts, Fitzgerald and junior guard Tanaya Atkinson all scored in double digits. Atkinson also logged 11 rebounds, marking her second double-double of the season.
Four of the Owls’ starting five played 36 minutes or more, and freshman center Shannen Atkinson and freshman forward Shantay Taylor each got playing time against the previously unbeaten Bobcats.
Taylor got two points and six rebounds and Shannen Atkinson had four points and five boards.
“I think our freshmen, they were thrown in the mix where you’re playing against a team that doesn’t have conventional post players and I thought they did a great job,” coach Tonya Cardoza said.
Temple finished the game with 41 rebounds, 14 of which were offensive rebounds. This led to 16 second chance points, largely thanks to Tanaya Atkinson who finished with six offensive boards.
“I thought she did a great job,” Cardoza said. “We talked about that, you know, last year losing [guard] Erica [Covile], that’s one of the biggest things Erica brought was that she was going to rebound the basketball, even if she wasn’t scoring. Tanaya needed to be around the basket, going after them, and then she got herself to the free throw line, so it was just a great effort of not giving up on plays.”
Maura Razanauskas can be reached at email@example.com.