After a tight first half of play, Xavier found the way to shut down the Owls: stop Ashley Morris from scoring.
The 5-foot-5 guard scored 13 points in the first 20 minutes – 7 in the final three minutes of the half – on 5-for-9 shooting, but managed only one field goal in the second half of play. She finished with 15 points, but the Owls desperately needed more from their leading scorer against the Musketeers (17-6, 7-1 Atlantic Ten Conference) who outscored visiting Temple, 38-25, in the second half to win, 64-55, at the Cintas Center Saturday night.
Morris, who scored a career-high 32 points in her last game against Charlotte Wednesday at the Liacouras Center, needed more offensive assistance in this one, but she did not get much help.
Junior forward Shenita Landry, who was back coming off the bench after a rare start last game, was a bright spot in the first half for Temple, scoring five points to go along with six rebounds and four steals, but the 6-foot-2 forward scored just one point and grabbed one rebound in the final half.
Senior center Lady Comfort continued her struggle on offense, pouring in only eight points after a two-point showing Wednesday, and 6-foot-4 junior forward Shanea Cotton was only able to contribute five to the Owls’ total after scoring a career-high 16 points in her last game.
Freshman forward Lindsey Kimmel was the second-leading scorer for the Owls, knocking down 3-of-5 from downtown on her way to nine points.
Though the Owls (14-11, 7-2) entered the game on a seven-game winning streak, the squad may have known this would be a tough game. Xavier was responsible for ending the Owls’ run in the A-10 Tournament last season, when the Musketeers were able to pull out a one point victory.
After a slow start in this game – Temple started down 7-0 – the Owls looked like they were ready to avenge last year’s heartbreaker. With nine points in the last three minutes, Temple went up 30-24, before April Phillips put in a lay-up to end the half.
Phillips basket gave Xavier the momentum in the second half, and sophomore Amber Harris, who led all scorers with 20 points, 12 of which were in the second half, helped the Musketeers win.
The Owls will be not be in action again until Sunday, Feb. 17, when they match-up with Duquesne at the Liacouras Center. The tip-off is set for 2 p.m. In their one battle last season, Temple traveled to Pittsburgh and demolished the Dukes, 72-43.