Owls fall in final seconds

Penn defeated Temple 74-70

Different Big 5 opponent, but the same result.

Allowing a three-point play by Penn in the final seconds of regulation, the Temple Owls lost their third consecutive Philadelphia Big 5 matchup against the Penn Quakers 74-70, on Wednesday evening in McGonigle Hall.

For Temple (10-8,1-3 Big 5), its winning streak is halted at two games, and for the second straight season, it has recorded a 1-3 record against Big 5 opponents. Penn (9-5,2-2 Big 5) ended a streak of another kind, winning its first game in four matchups to stop a string of three consecutive losses.

Starting her fourth game of the season, freshman center Taylor Robinson led Temple with a double-double, registering 16 points and 15 rebounds. Both totals are her career-high.

Senior forward Natasha Thames also recorded a double-double for the Owls. Thames scored 13 points, and grabbed 13 boards. With her 13 rebounds against Penn, Thames moved to 7th place in program history for career rebounds.

Reserve guard, junior Rateska Brown, continued her scoring streak, recording 13 points, which is her third consecutive double figure outing.

Freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald scored nine points and dished a team-high six assists. Junior guard Tyonna Williams registered 10 points and five assists. Sophomore guard Erica Covile had a game-high three steals.

For the Quakers, senior guard Alyssa Baron led all scorers with 21 points. Junior forward Kara Bonenberger and freshman center Sydney Stipanovich recorded double-doubles, recording 20 points and 12 rebounds, and 17 points and 10 rebounds respectively. Stipanovich also recorded a game-high five blocked shots.

In the first half, Robinson was Temple’s most effective offensive weapon, scoring out of the post in several of the Owls’ possessions. Robinson recorded the game’s first points and outscored the Quakers in the first five minutes of regulation. At the 15:17 mark, a media timeout was taken, and Temple led 10-4 behind Robinson’s eight point effort.

The scoring continued for the Owls with a Fitzgerald jumper out of the timeout, but soon after, Penn went on a 6-0 run that closed Temple’s lead to 12-10.

Another Robinson insider basket extended the Owls’ lead, but Bonenberger and Baron answered with consecutive scores to tie the game at 14. Trading baskets for the next four possessions, both teams were once against tied.

With the score tied at 18, Penn scored four more unanswered points to take a 22-18 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the period.

In the next possession, Temple found it difficult to score near the rim, as Bonenberger and Stipanovich rejected three total shots. After a timeout, Covile was able to free herself for a layup, pulling Temple within two points. A Baron jumper extended the Quakers’ lead back to four with 3:33 remaining in the half.

In the last three minutes of the half, Temple was unable to tie or grab the lead, swapping scoring plays with Penn. With five seconds left until halftime, Bonenberger ended the period with a mid-range jumper, giving Penn a 30-26 advantage at the half.

Trailing by as much as six points, Temple used the first three minutes of the second period to outscore the Quakers 11-7, tying the game at 37 points. After allowing three unanswered points by Penn, Temple ripped off a 7-0 run, as a part of a 12-2 run. The scoring streak gave Temple a 49-42 lead with 13 minutes remaining, which was the Owls’ first lead since early in the first period.

The Owls held their lead for the next three minutes of play, but at the 10:28 mark, Penn began a 8-0 run that gave the Quakers a 57-54 lead. But neither Penn nor Temple could hold their leads for very long, leading to five lead changes en route to a five lead changes, but free throws by Bonenberger and Baron would push the Quakers to the last lead change of the night.

Minutes later, with 1:48 remaining in regulation, Penn led by three points after a Stipanovich layup. After a Temple 30 second timeout, and empty possessions by each team, Brown freed herself up for an open three point bucket to tie the game at 70 with 47 seconds remaining.

The Quakers took a 30 second timeout to draw up a play, and once on the floor, Baron drove into the heart of the Owls’ defense and scored with a contested layup. Baron was also fouled on the play, and she completed the three-point play.

Out of another timeout, with 11 seconds left, Temple ran a play for Fitzgerald to drive to the basket for the quick two points, but her attempt missed. The fouled Stipanovich pushed the Penn lead to four with a free throw, giving Temple one more chance at a score, but with six seconds left, a long three point attempt by Williams came up empty.

Brien Edwards can be reached at brien.erick.edwards@temple.edu or on twitter @BErick1123

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