Owls shoot 25 percent from floor in third straight loss

Temple Women’s Basketball lost 16 turnovers which resulted in their 64-53 loss against the University of Memphis Saturday afternoon.

Temple junior guard Tarriyonna Gary struggled against Memphis, shooting 4-12 from the field in the Owls' 64-53 loss. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Women’s Basketball (7-11, 2-4 American Athletic Conference) lost their third straight game in conference play against the University of Memphis (11-8, 3-3 American Athletic Conference) 64-53 on Saturday afternoon in Memphis, Tennessee. The Owls had another poor shooting performance and could not keep up with the Tigers’ offense in the second half of the game. 

Temple entered Saturday’s contest with hopes of converting on more open looks at the basket, but poor shot selection and miscommunication resulted in 16 turnovers and a new season-low 25 percent from the floor, after shooting 27 percent against Tulsa on Tuesday. 

“We were missing shots, and in the last game, we were missing shots as well,” said head coach Diane Richardson. “We’ve just got to be able to get the lid off the basket. Some of the shots we missed were layups, we’ve got to be confident going in strong and looking for the foul.”

In the early stages of the first half, Temple’s stout defense was on full display. The Owls forced the Tigers to make unnecessary passes and contested shots, resulting in Memphis turning the ball over 10 times through the first twenty minutes. 

Both teams found offensive success to close out the first half as they traded scoring runs, but Memphis senior forward Lanetta Williams knocked down a floater as time expired at the end of the second quarter, resulting in the Tigers taking a 28-26 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Tigers took better care of the ball, limiting their turnover total and outscoring the Owls 36-27. Temple’s defense could not keep up with Memphis’ quick guards on the wing or their forwards in the paint.

Memphis found offensive momentum when they opened up the half on a 7-0 scoring run, helping them top Temple 17-7 in the third quarter. 

“I think that Memphis did come out really hot and really aggressive offensively,” Richardson said. “We were lagging a little bit defensively in that connection in the third quarter.”

Temple’s forwards have had continuous issues with poor rebounding. The Owls lost the rebounding battle 47-41 Saturday, giving up 28 points in the paint.

Memphis sophomore forward Hannah Riddick led the Tigers with 11 rebounds, providing a mismatch that the Owls could not combat in the paint.

“There’s ups and downs,” Richardson said. “I thought we were getting over the hump right now. “We had a good game against Cincinnati. I thought we were learning some things about ourselves. But you know, unfortunately we had an uphill battle, and just didn’t really climb that mountain these last two games.”

Temple will look to return to the win column when they travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane University (12-7, 2-4 American Athletic Conference) on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.

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