After a back-and-forth final 10 minutes of play, Temple forward Caranda Perea grabbed a rebound and was fouled, but went just 1-of-2 from the line to tie the game. Seconds later, guard Aleah Nelson was unsuccessful on a three-point opportunity to win the game, sending the Owls to their first overtime game of the season.
In overtime, Cincinnati out performed Temple under the basket by scoring eight points in the paint. Bearcats’ guard Jillian Hayes added to her 18 points by knocking down two shots at the charity stripe to secure her team’s victory.
“It was a tough game, we just have to be tougher,” said head coach Diane Richardson
Temple Women’s Basketball (10-14, 5-7 American Athletic Conference) suffered their third straight loss and snapped their four-game winning streak against Cincinnati (9-15, 2-9 American Athletic Conference) with a 74-66 loss Saturday afternoon at The Liacouras Center. The Owls were unsuccessful in completing the season sweep against the Bearcats after previously defeating them 77-73 on Jan. 7.
Temple, who was outscored 25-7 in the fourth quarter in its 67-52 loss to East Carolina on Feb. 8, came into Saturday’s contest motivated for a win to keep pace in the conference standings, but poor defense and an underwhelming effort on the glass cost Temple in the late stages of the game. The Owls were outrebounded 40-29 and finished the game shooting 42 percent from the floor.
“We were slacking today,” Nelson said. “I think we just have to all play together, I think we just kind of lost our focus today.”
Through the first 10 minutes, Temple was in a 2-3 zone defense which took away three-point opportunities from Cincinnati, making them work inside and resulting in forced passes that led to turnovers. The strong defensive effort helped the Owls enter the second quarter with a 17-13 lead.
Both teams traded baskets to open up the second quarter, but Temple’s tight defense turned into offense and sparked a 7-0 scoring run within the first five minutes. Cincinnati battled back by scoring 10 second chance points to tie the game 34-34 entering halftime.
In the second half, Cincinnati took better care of the basketball and capitalized on Temple’s defensive miscommunications to go on a 7-0 scoring run of their own and lead 48-46 heading into the last quarter of play.
Nelson and forward Tiarra East combined for 38 points but their efforts were not enough, as the duo struggled from beyond the arc, shooting a combined 2-of-10.
After struggling in their last contest at the charity stripe, the Owls still struggled with their trips to the line, going 13-of-19 as a team. Forward Ines Piper missed two crucial free throws in overtime with 30 seconds remaining.
“It is just taking our time and knowing that every free throw counts,” Nelson said. “We’re definitely going to be practicing those in practice the next couple of days.”
Temple will have a week off until they host Houston (9-13, 6-3 American Athletic Conference) on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in hopes of breaking their three-game losing streak.
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