Owls fall to Rebels in final non-conference game

Temple Women’s Basketball suffered a 75-55 loss to the University of Mississippi on Wednesday afternoon at The Liacouras Center.

The Owls struggled to keep up with the Rebels resulting in a loss. EARL KUFEN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Women’s Basketball (5-7, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) lost 75-55 to the University of Mississippi (11-2, 0-0 Southeastern Conference) on Wednesday afternoon at The Liacouras Center. The Rebels outperformed the Owls’ offense and defense in almost every way for the majority of the game.

The Owls, who were looking for a second consecutive win after their 66-60 victory against Duquesne University on Dec. 16, had trouble putting the ball in the basket, shooting a poor 18 percent from the field in the first quarter.

On the opposite end, the Rebels came out shooting an impressive 78 percent from the field, while hitting all of their threes. Senior forward Tyia Singleton and senior guard Marquesha Davis both had eight points, helping the Rebels jump out to a 26-9 lead in the first quarter.

“We wanted to use our speed against them,” said head coach Diane Richardson. “Because they’re really, really big and their posts are really big inside and they block up the lane and they play well together and unfortunately we couldn’t stop them.”

Overall, the Owls’ paint presence on both sides of the ball and their ability to grab rebounds has been a recurring issue this season. In today’s contest, Temple was outrebounded 37-33. The Rebels also successfully got by the Owls’ forwards and scored 36 points down low compared to Temple’s 16.

“I think we are still working on boxing out,” Richardson said.  “We’ve got to put bodies on people whether they’re taller or not. We’ve got to get in that habit of boxing them out. At least we get an opportunity or a shot at getting the rebound. So we’re gonna concentrate more on the box and making contact on the box so that we can get more rebounds.”

Temple forwards sophomore Ines Piper and senior Denise Solis were in foul trouble for most of the contest, allowing Ole Miss to execute their game plan of driving to the basket.

Senior guard Aleah Nelson, who was coming off a season-high 33 points against Duquesne, struggled to find her usual shooting groove and managed to record only seven points on 2-11 shooting.

Despite Nelson’s underwhelming showing, sophomore guard Jasha Clinton and sophomore forward Tiarra East both had strong performances for the Owls. Clinton led the team with 16 points and East was not far behind with 14.

“My mindset going into this was to keep on doing what I’ve been doing,” East said. “Stay in the gym, get the team together so we can get ready for when we come back after Christmas.”

The Owls will take a much-needed break before returning to The Liacouras Center on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. for their first conference matchup against the University of Memphis (8-5, 0-0 American Athletic Conference).

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