Fourth quarter struggles lead to Temple women’s basketball loss

The Owls scored only five fourth-quarter points in their 62-54 loss to Central Florida on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman guard Marissa Mackins dribbles the ball up court during the Owls’ 78-70 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats on Feb. 17 at McGonigle Hall. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University women’s basketball entered the fourth quarter trailing by one-point.

However, the Owls (9-17, 5-8 The American Athletic Conference) scored only five points in the fourth quarter and lost to Central Florida (22-5, 11-3 The American), 62-54, in Orlando on Saturday.

The Owls struggled to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter making 2-of-17 shots from the field and 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

“We got the shots, we just did not knock them in,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “ A lot of them were wide open, and we just did not make shots. If we shoot the ball better than 34 percent its something completely different.”

The Knights went 4-for-13 from the field and 0-for-2 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.

Temple had a tough time guarding UCF junior guard Kay Kay Wright, Cardoza said. Wright led all scorers in the game with 24 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Wright added a team-high seven points and four assists in 39 minutes of action.

“[Wright’s] a great player and we needed to do a better job of making her give up the ball and not letting her get it back,” Cardoza said. “Usually we are pretty good at that, not allowing their best player to hurt us.”

Graduate student guard Alliya Butts led the Owls in scoring with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists. Sophomore forward Mia Davis, the only other Temple player with points in double figures, added 12 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.   

Both teams struggled in the last three minutes of the game. Temple made only one of its last 11 shots, and UCF  made zero of their last four shots from the floor.

The Knights were able to force 12 Temple turnovers and capitalize by scoring 12 points off the turnovers. The Owls only forced eight turnovers, which resulted in four points.

“Considering we played the number two team in our conference on the road, I thought we played well,” Cardoza said. “I thought we played well enough to win. I felt like there were crucial spots in that game where we did not execute on offense.”

Temple’s next game is home at McGonigle Hall on Wednesday against Tulsa

(11-14, 5-7 The American). The Owls defeated Tulsa, 75-61, on the road Jan. 29 in their first meeting of the season.  

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