With seven regular-season games remaining in her college basketball career, Erica Covile made a new memory in Temple’s game against South Florida, then the No. 19 team in the AP Top 25 poll.
After a Feyonda Fitzgerald miss, the senior guard grabbed an offensive rebound with three seconds left in the tied game and took an off-balance shot, sinking the fadeaway jumper.
As the scoreboard changed to show a 68-66 lead for the Owls with one second remaining, Covile’s teammates sprinted to embrace her, celebrating their soon-to-be upset victory on Saturday at the Liacouras Center.
The senior guard said Saturday’s contest ranks “number one” among her 105 career games at Temple. “Especially since I had the game-winning shot,” she added.
Covile’s basket moved the Owls into second place in the American Athletic Conference. The Owls also defeated a nationally ranked team for the first time since their 2008-09 season.
The Detroit native recorded her fifth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She was two points away from reaching her season high, but she set a new season high in 3-point field goals made, as well as in minutes played.
“That layup that Erica makes at the end, we missed those earlier in the game,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “The game is on the line, she gets the offensive rebound and wins the game for us. It comes down to people making big plays.”
The Owls have improved each year Covile has been part of the program. Last season, the Owls made it to postseason for the first time in Covile’s career. Their season ended in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament semifinal, where they lost to West Virginia University in overtime.
Covile has scored 945 career points and is on target to reach 1,000 before the end of her time at Temple. She currently ranks 13th on the list of most assists in Temple history with 692.
Getting Covile to her first career NCAA Tournament in her final season is a goal for the Owls as they near the homestretch of their season.
“Especially for Erica, but more importantly for our coaches and each other,” sophomore guard Tanaya Atkinson said. “We’re a family so we all gotta just make sure we bear down and do it for the team.”
Covile is the fourth-leading scorer on this year’s team, averaging 9.5 points per game. She was second on the team in scoring last year at 11.4 PPG.
She leads the Owls’ in rebounding for the second-straight season and realizes the necessity of her role for Temple to make the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s very important,” Covile said. “Like Tanaya said, our job is to rebound, especially when our guards aren’t hitting shots.”
Maura Razanauskas can be reached at email@example.com.