With 39 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Temple University women’s basketball senior forward Mia Davis drove through the lane and scooped the ball with her right hand into the basket, punctuating a 9-1 scoring run and cutting what was once a nine-point deficit to just three, with the Green Wave leading 69-66.
But it was not enough to save Temple (5-7, 5-4 The American Athletic Conference), which dropped its second straight game to Tulane (10-5, 6-4 The American) 71-69 Sunday afternoon after blowing a 10-point lead in the first quarter and failing to execute on offense in the fourth quarter.
In the rematch of Saturday’s game between the two teams, the Green Wave employed a 2-3 zone defense in the second half, which helped them slow down the Owls’ low-post scoring and take control of the game.
The Owls dominated the first quarter, leading 22-12 when the buzzer sounded. They played stout defense, forcing the Green Wave to miss each of their first 10 shots.
In addition to Davis scoring a game-high 22 points, freshman guard Jasha Clinton scored 17 points and junior forward Alexa Williamson added 15 points. Senior guard Emani Mayo chipped in, scoring 10 points.
Despite shooting just 41 percent overall, Tulane made 47 percent of their attempts from behind the 3-point line. Freshman guard JerKaila Jordan led the team with 18 points, including three-of-five shooting from the perimeter. Senior guard Sierra Cheatham was three-of-three from beyond the arc.
Despite persistent perimeter scoring from the Green Wave, the Owls kept the deficit within striking distance late in the game.
Clinton scored a basket while being fouled and converted a free throw to cut the lead to 68-62 with one minute and 11 seconds remaining in regulation. On the following defensive possession, Temple stole the ball and sophomore guard Asonah Alexander made a basket to shrink the lead to just four as the Owls trailed 68-64.
Jordan made two free throws for Tulane to push the lead to 71-66 with 26 seconds remaining, and the Owls answered with a steal by Alexander leading to a Rayniah Walker layup, making the score 71-69 as time expired.
Temple’s inability to capitalize from the free throw line limited its offense. The Owls made just 65 percent of their free throw attempts, leaving eight points on the board. Meanwhile, Tulane made 80 percent of their tries, converting 20 out of 25 attempts from the line.
The Owls’ next contest is on the road against Cincinnati (3-10, 2-7 The American) on Feb. 3 at 6 p.m.