After trailing most of the second half, East Carolina’s uptempo offense picked up the pace by beginning the fourth quarter on a 17-0 scoring run. Led by freshman forward Amiya Joyner’s 23 points and 14 rebounds, the Pirates outscored the Owls 25-7 in the last 10 minutes, securing their victory.
Temple Women’s Basketball (10-13, 5-6 American Athletic Conference) dipped back to a below .500 conference record after losing to East Carolina University (16-8, 7-4 American Athletic Conference) 67-52 in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday night. Turnovers continued to plague the Owls as their passes out of offensive sets missed the mark. After losing 26 turnovers in a 65-60 loss against Houston on Saturday, the Owls had 17 lost turnovers against the Pirates, solidifying ECU’s season sweep of Temple.
ECU carried their energy from the last time the two teams faced each other on Jan. 11, when the Pirates won 72-51 and forced 25 Temple turnovers. This time around, a stifling ECU defense forced tough shots and tired out Temple’s eight player rotation with ball movement. As a result, the Owls shot 35 percent from the floor throughout the contest.
Immediately after tipoff, both teams hoped to establish some offensive momentum. The Owls and Pirates tried to ignite the high energy offense that both teams thrive on, but poor shot selection and tight defense led to a low scoring first quarter with ECU and Temple tied at 10, and both teams going a combined 8-of-29 from the field.
Fatigue set in early for the Owls as ECU established the half-court press that Houston used against Temple on Saturday. In the closing minutes of the second quarter, defense led to offense for the Pirates as they went on 8-0 scoring run. Temple senior guard Aleah Nelson halted ECU’s momentum with a three as time expired in the first half, trimming the ECU lead to 24-22 entering halftime.
Both teams found offensive success in the early stages of the second half and traded baskets. Three-point opportunities did not come easy for Temple as they were 4-of-15 from beyond the arc, and led 45-42 entering the last quarter of play.
Temple’s forwards had trouble controlling the paint and allowed the Pirates to get to the charity stripe where ECU shot 21-of-28 on free throw opportunities. Entering tonight’s contest, the Owls led The American in free throw percentage while shooting 74 percent, but were less efficient at the free throw line Wednesday, finishing the night shooting 45 percent from the stripe.
Redshirt junior forward Brittany Garner played her best game of the season for Temple, finishing with eight points and grabbing a new season high in rebounds with nine boards.
Temple will look to earn their way back into the win column with a season sweep against the University of Cincinnati (8-14, 1-8 American Athletic Conference) on Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at The Liacouras Center.
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