With two minutes and 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Owls’ freshman guard Aniya Gourdine made a jump shot from inside the paint to put Temple on top for the first time in the final quarter.
Temple University women’s basketball (3-3, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) defeated Villanova University (2-3, 0-0 The Big East) 68-62 on Saturday afternoon at Finneran Pavilion in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Despite falling behind in the first quarter, the Owls got back into the game following a mid-range jump shot from graduate student forward Mia Davis that capped off a 9-2 run. The quarter ended in a 19-19 tie.
The Owls were outrebounded and had a lower shooting percentage in the first half than the Wildcats, but went into halftime only trailing 33-32.
“I thought we did a really good job of staying focused,” said head coach Tonya Cardoza. “We made some mistakes in the first half, but we didn’t get down on ourselves like we have in the past.”
The Owls came out of halftime shooting the ball more efficiently, starting the third quarter on a 12-2 run, which freshman forward Caranda Perea and freshman guard Jasha Clinton capped off with back-to-back 3-pointers.
The Owls had four players score double-digit points, the most they have had in a game this season.
“We knew that we needed good ball movement,” Cardoza said. “Guys were confident and stepped up and made shots and for the most part we let the ball go wherever it needed to go and not just one person’s hand.”
Although the Wildcats outrebounded the Owls 35-30, they turned the ball over 18 times, creating more scoring opportunities for Temple.
After a back-and-forth final quarter, the Owls took the lead late with consecutive field goals by Gourdine, who finished the game with a team-leading 17 points, shooting five-of-six from the field over 27 minutes.
The Wildcats already defeated Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania, two fellow Big Five opponents, so losing to Temple eliminated them from the Big Five championship.
“We talked about how they were up 2-0 in the Big Five,” Cardoza said. “We want to win the Big Five and it is very important for us to get that, so today was a good step in that direction.”
The Owls will look to build off the win when they travel to take on Georgetown University (3-2, 0-0 Big East Conference) on Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. at McDonough Arena in Washington, D.C.