Nelson’s season-high 33 leads Owls past Dukes

Temple Women’s Basketball’s Aleah Nelson hit 1,000 career points as Temple secured a 66-60 win against Duquesne on Friday night at the Liacouras Center.

Owls senior guard Aleah Nelson made her 1,000th point and led the team against the Dukes. ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Despite Duquesne’s late comeback attempt in the fourth quarter that cut Temple’s lead down to four with two minutes remaining, the Owls weathered through the Dukes’ momentum until the end to secure their fifth win of the season.

Temple Women’s Basketball (5-6,0-0 American Athletic Conference) defeated Duquesne University (8-3,0-0 Atlantic-10) 66-60 on Friday night at The Liacouras Center. 

Senior guard Aleah Nelson led Temple’s offense, by dropping a season-high 33 points and shooting 11 for 23 with seven threes. Nelson became the latest Temple women’s basketball player to hit five or more threes in a game since her teammate sophomore guard Jasha Clinton did it in the 2020-21 season against Tulane.

Nelson’s career scoring night also allowed her to reach 1,000 combined points in her basketball career.

“I’m really proud of her,” said head coach Diane Richardson. “You know I’ve watched her grow up and for me that’s great to see and be here to witness and I’m proud of her.”

Temple also performed well on the boards, an area that has been an issue for them throughout the season. Sophomore forward Tiarra East and senior forward Denise Solis both finished with a team-high 10 rebounds on the night.

East and Solis’ solid performances down low gave the Owls the 44 to 40 rebound advantage on the night. Along with rebounding, the team performed well on the defensive side, forcing eight steals and blocks.

“I thought we played great defensive today,” Richardson said. “I knew that Duquesne was going to come in and they were going to shoot threes and we contested those threes and played team defense.”

Duquesne almost made a comeback with junior forward Ayanna Townsend leading the way with 19 points and six rebounds. The Dukes managed a late surge and looked to spoil the night for the Owls and Nelson by cutting an 18-point deficit down to four. However, after Temple’s collective free throw shooting in the final two minutes, they put the game out of reach and secured the win.

“It was a great team win,” Nelson said. “Regardless of my personal achievements I just wanna say we fought, it was a tough game and Duquesne is a very good team and came here to play. Coach said don’t let what happened last game happen again and we rallied together and got stops and that’s what we needed.”

Temple will look to stay in the win column as they take on the University of Mississippi (9-2,0-0 Southeastern Conference) at 12 p.m. on Dec. 21 at The Liacouras Center.

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