Hot-shooting second half gives women’s basketball Big 5 win

Temple shot 51.5 percent from the field in the second half of its 69-52 win against La Salle on Wednesday at Tom Gola Arena.

Freshman guard Emani Mayo handles the ball during Temple's 70-36 win against Wagner College at McGonigle Hall on Nov. 16. | CHIA YU LIAO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple had an opportunity to win a share of the Big 5 title on Jan. 21, 2016, against Penn.

The Owls lost to the Quakers at McGonigle Hall. They haven’t lost a Big 5 game since.

Temple went 4-0 against its city rivals as part of its NCAA tournament qualifying 2016-17 season. Temple (4-1) continued its success against Big 5 teams into the 2017-18 season with a 69-52 win against La Salle on Wednesday at Tom Gola Arena.

For the third straight game, the Owls held their opponent to 54 points or fewer. Coach Tonya Cardoza wanted her team to improve on the defensive end of the floor after conceding 72 points in its first game and 84 in its second.

After falling behind by as many as five points and not scoring for the first three minutes, 31 seconds, Temple came back to lead 18-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Senior guard Tanaya Atkinson led the Owls in scoring for the fifth straight game. She has scored more than 20 in four of the five games. Atkinson finished with 21 points and seven rebounds against La Salle. Thirteen of Atkinson’s 21 points came in the first half.

After leading by four points, 29-25, at the half, Temple continued to add to its lead. Temple closed the game on an 18-5 run to end the game. The Owls shot 51.5 percent from the field in the second half.

Freshman guard Emani Mayo scored all 10 of her points in the second half to help put the game away for the Owls. Wednesday was the second straight game Mayo scored in double figures.

After their two-game road swing, the Owls will return to McGonigle Hall to play against the University of Mississippi on Saturday looking for their first 5-1 start since the 2009-10 season.

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