Ashley Morris missed the second of two free throws with two minutes, eight seconds remaining in the second half.
It was no harm as Temple’s senior guard grabbed the offensive rebound and set the offense back up. On the same possession, Morris drained a mid-range jumper to put the Owls up 68-64.
The Owls used a late 12-2 run to close out a tight Atlantic Ten Conference matchup with a 74-66 victory over Duquesne Sunday afternoon in front of 1,582 at the Liacouras Center.
It was “Pack the House” day at the arena for Temple (15-11, 8-2 A-10), but it was Morris and Lady Comfort who packed a wallop at the expense of the Dukes (11-14, 2-8).
Morris, who was named A-10 Co-Player of the Week last week, continued her success by shooting 11-for-22 for a team-high 27 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
When Morris’ shots weren’t falling, Comfort was there to clean up the mess.
The senior center scored 16 points but captured a game and season-high 18 rebounds. Comfort was dominant on the offensive glass with eight.
“On the defensive rebounds, just trying to make sure they don’t get second, third opportunities to score,” Comfort said. “On offensive rebounds, just sometimes be in the right place at the right time.”
Coach Dawn Staley said if opponents can’t stop the senior duo, then they’ll have a hard time stopping the Owls.
“As long as we have Ashley and Lady playing well, we got a shot at winning,” she said.
Junior forward Shenita Landry also played well, notching 13 points with nine rebounds.
Freshman Samantha Pollino and junior Kristi Little combined for 32 points for the Dukes. Little was a perfect 11-of-11 from the foul line.
Temple only had a 40-32 advantage heading into the break. The Dukes came back to tie the game at 60 with five minutes remaining. Duquesne shot 48 percent from the field in the second half, compared to the Owls’ 41 percent.
“We just played uninspired basketball today. I don’t know if it [was] us having a week off. We haven’t recovered from last Sunday,” Staley said. “There’s not too much I can do. It’s up to them to execute it. Sometimes you got to let them fight it out.”
With only four games remaining in the regular season, Staley says the Owls must play better than today if they want a shot to compete for the A-10 Tournament.
Temple heads to St. Joseph’s on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Jasmine Stone was not on the bench for the Owls … Dawn Staley tied former coach Linda Hill MacDonald as Temple’s all-time winningest coach. Staley, in her eighth season, has a record of 166-78.
Pete Dorchak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.