Owls lose to Penn in Big 5 match-up

The Owls fell to the University of Pennsylvania 60-54 Thursday night at McGonigle Hall.

When Penn sophomore guard Beth Brzozowski followed her own shot and collected an offensive rebound with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter, the Quakers got the chance to take more time off the clock while leading by three.

The offensive rebound, the 28th of the game for the Quakers, led to a layup by sophomore forward Michelle Nwokedi with 35 seconds left to seal the Quakers’ 60-54 victory against the Owls (11-7, 2-2 Big 5) Thursday night at McGonigle Hall.

The loss took the Owls out of contention for a Big 5 title.

While Temple finished with a 33.8 percent field goal percentage compared to Penn’s 31.5 percent, the real difference between the teams was in rebounds.

Penn outrebounded Temple 28-13 on the offensive glass, leading to 19 second-chance points. Nwokedi and junior center Sydney Stipanovich, who each grabbed 16 rebounds, led the Quakers in rebounding.

“There were so many opportunities where we got stops and because we weren’t aggressively going after the basketball or boxing out or just paying attention,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “We allowed them to get second, third, fourth chance opportunities and a team like that is going to eat you alive because that’s what they thrive off of.”

Sophomore guard Lauren Whitlach helped the Quakers break the 26-26 halftime score, scoring eight of her 13 points in the third quarter.

Down 45-37 to start the fourth quarter, Atkinson scored eight of her fourteen points in the final eight minutes, 57 seconds.

The Quakers, who came into Thursday’s game No. 8 in Division I in blocked shots per game, blocked six shots in the first quarter and eight overall.

The Owls looked for outside shots but struggled from behind the arc, making 3-of-22 attempts— more than 17 percent below their 31.2 percent average coming into play.

“We shoot a lot of threes .. .today they just weren’t going in for us,” Cardoza said. “But we talked about not just settling, to put pressure on the defense and try to get into the gaps and get higher percentage shots. With the dribble penetration, we were able to kick, but today they weren’t falling for us.”

Maura Razanauskas and Evan Easterling can be reached at sports@temple-news.com

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