Temple Women’s Basketball (1-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) earned its first win of the Diane Richardson era with their 78-61 victory against Georgetown University (1-1, 0-0 Big East Conference) at The Liacouras Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Owls are back at Liacouras full-time for the first time since the 2008 season and won their first game at Liacouras since they beat Houston 76-65 in 2019.
“I think we proved that this is our house as well,” Richardson said. “Liacouras is a great place to play. It’s comfortable and makes us feel good to play here and have the fans”
Transfer senior guard Aleah Nelson was a key factor in the Owls’ first victory of the season, finishing the game with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Nelson opened the scoring in the third quarter for the Owls, converting on a four-point play that sparked a 24-8 run for Temple, giving them a lead they never looked back from.
“It starts with my team, nobody ever tells me to stop shooting,” Nelson said. “My teammates have my back, and it’s not just me scoring it’s my teammates too.”
The Owls struggled early on in the first half, going 2-15 from beyond the three-point line. Despite their first half struggles, Nelson was able to maintain the lead for Temple with her ability to draw fouls. At the eight-minute mark of the third quarter, Nelson recorded a four-point play after getting fouled on a made three-pointer.
The Owls were not able to pull away from the Hoyas in the first half, but they still kept the lead for more than 11 minutes of the half.
Sophomore guard Tiarra East and senior forward Denis Solis’ ability to grab rebounds and keep possessions alive was another bright spot for the Owls. Temple had 16 offensive rebounds, leading to 15 second-chance points.
“We’ve talked about those second chance points, and that extra effort, if we can get the rebound and get back that gives us another possession,” Richardson said. “It’s important for us to go to the board, everybody crashed the board because of the second chance shot so that was really good to see.”
The Hoyas played tight defense against the Owls in the first half, going into the break down 33-29. Nelson’s strong third quarter helped the Owls pull away in the second half, scoring nine points and going 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in the period.
Nelson and sophomore guard Jasha Clinton fueled a 24 point third quarter from the Owls, scoring 17 of the 24 points.
Temple’s defense showed up in the third quarter as well, holding Georgetown to zero field goals during a seven minute and 58 second stretch in the third quarter. The Hoyas went 0-for-14 from the field in that span.
The Hoyas did not go down without a fight, cutting Temple’s 17-point lead down to nine at one point. The Owls were able to hold off Georgetown’s comeback attempt thanks to nine fourth-quarter points from East.
Temple will look to build off the win when they travel to Queens to take on St. John’s University (2-0, 0-0 Big East Conference) on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at Carnesecca Arena.