With 15 seconds left in the game, senior forward Mia Davis drove through the East Carolina defense and sank a short jumper in the paint for the game-winning basket, completing the Owls’ 10-point second half comeback.
Temple University women’s basketball (8-8, 8-5 The American Athletic Conference) took down Eastern Carolina (6-11, 4-8 The American) 58-57 in a close game Saturday afternoon, marked by Davis’ stalwart play and the Owls’ offensive strength in the second half.
“Coach just said, ‘Get open in the high post and try to score,’ so that’s what I did,” Davis said.
Davis led the game in scoring with 20 points, including a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line. She also tallied six rebounds and two assists.
“I thought we did a really good job of executing that last play,” said head coach Tonya Cardoza. “Whether she was going to shoot or pass, I wanted to put the ball in her hands in that situation.”
After trailing 10 points before halftime, the Owls locked in on the defensive end to come from behind and win. They held the Pirates to just 29.6 percent shooting in the second half.
“I feel like in the past we might have just stopped playing on the defensive side,” Cardoza said.
Cardoza was pleased that unlike in the Houston game, the Owls stepped up and remained focused for all four quarters, she added.
Offensively, the Owls had to get creative with Davis and junior forward Alexa Williamson sitting almost the entire second quarter in foul trouble.
“We just have to be better and smarter,” Davis said. “Because that just put more pressure on our teammates.”
Besides Davis, freshman guard Jasha Clinton was the only other Owl to score more than 10 points in the game. Clinton shot just 3-of-16 from the field but scored 13 points with five rebounds and five assists.
Despite the Owls only scoring five points in the second quarter, Cardoza never felt the game had slipped away.
“I felt like the game was never out of control to the point where they needed to be put back in in the first half,” Cardoza said.
Graduate student guard Jada Graves stepped up in her 31 minutes of action, giving the Owls a defensive presence with two steals.
“[Graves] was giving us a lot on the defensive side,” Cardoza said. “I needed her out on the floor.”
The Owls’ next game is against Tulsa (5-8, 4-8 The American) on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.