Even on Thursday’s snow day, when the rest of Temple was closed, the women’s basketball team made it to McGonigle Hall to go through a light shootaround.
“We kinda wanted a day off to relax with the snowstorm, but we’ll rest later,” junior guard Donnaizha Fountain said. “It was cool being able to walk into an empty building and just get back to the lab and get to work whether it be shooting, ball handling or defense.”
The snow day came a day after the annual school day game, when kids from around the city take a field trip to watch the Owls.
Temple beat Tulsa 70-43 at the Liacouras Center. Senior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald nearly recorded the first triple-double in program history, finishing one rebound and two assists shy of the feat.
“The kids were great, the atmosphere was crazy, they didn’t care who scored if it was us or Tulsa they went nuts,” Fountain said. “The game is my favorite game of the season. I love giving the kids something to look forward too, to just give them a chance to see a Temple sport live in action.”
Temple’s win on Wednesday tied the team for second place in the American Athletic Conference standings after South Florida lost to Memphis on Feb. 5. The Bulls hold the tie-breaker due to their head-to-head win on Jan. 29.
Temple (19-5, 9-2 The American) won its third straight game, 76-43, Saturday afternoon against East Carolina. The Owls beat the Pirates for the second time this season. Fitzgerald led the Owls’ offense, finishing with 21 points and six assists.
Fountain added a double-double in the win with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Temple led for almost the entire game, never trailing by more than two points. Temple has now swept the season series against four different opponents in The American.
“We know how well we’re doing because of the people we hear talking about us,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “But, like we have all year, we’re just focused on one game at a time. Because we still have to win games.”
Temple scored just 18 points in the first half of its losses to South Florida on Jan. 29 and Connecticut on Feb. 1. Since the first half of the Connecticut game, Temple has outscored its opponents in every half. In games against Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina, the Owls scored 44, 40 and 46 points in the first half.
“That is our goal, to come out from the jump and throw the first punch in the game,” Fountain said. “We can’t wait till the third or fourth quarter to get going, like in that Connecticut game, we came out in the second half very aggressive, and we just want that intensity every game.”
There are only five games left in the season, all against teams in The American. Two of the games are at home where the Owls have a 9-2 record.
Kevin Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @_kevinschaeffer.