The moment they stepped on the court, the Owls looked as dominant as could be, with senior forward Mia Davis and junior forward Alexa Williamson taking turns scoring to complete a 13-2 run in just under six minutes of play.
Propelled by its high-low motion offense, Temple University women’s basketball (9-8, 9-5 The American Athletic Conference) never relinquished its lead in the Owls’ 68-46 win Wednesday afternoon against Tulsa (5-10, 4-10 The American).
Williamson led all scorers with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Davis scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished four assists in a game in which the Owls’ offense executed from start to finish.
“At the beginning of the game coach harped on getting the ball inside the paint, our guards did a good job of getting me and [Williamson] the ball,” Davis said. “We ran a high-low action and I fed Lex a lot.”
Freshman guard Jasha Clinton, the Owls’ second leading scorer, added 12 points and four assists. It was a total team effort for Temple, as eight players scored, including freshman guard Kash Ayuso, who recorded a season-high eight points.
Temple only turned the ball over 14 times, lower than their 18.3 per game average this season.
Starting guards Clinton and sophomore Asonah Alexander handled the Golden Hurricanes’ defensive adjustments well and took their time not forcing the ball inside when Davis and Williamson were covered.
“They’re not forcing it as much,” Davis said. “They’re looking to see how many people are guarding us. They’re just making great passes and good angles and when we’re getting packed inside they’re hitting shots outside.”
The Owls also shot more than 50 percent from the field for the game, making 28 of their 55 shots. They’ve shot 38.7 percent from the field on average for the season, which ranks eighth in the conference.
Tulsa got off to an 8-2 start in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 57-41, but never got any closer. The Golden Hurricanes shot 28 percent from the field for the game and only made 16 shots from the field total. Junior guard Maddie Bittle had a team-high 10 points.
With four conference games remaining and Temple one game behind both Tulane and Houston for fourth place in the losses column, this win was important. The top six teams at the end of the season avoid playing in the opening round of The American Athletic Conference Tournament.
“It’s very important for us to finish off strong, so we won’t have to play that first game,” Davis said. “Locking in and concentrating so we can win out the rest of our games.”
The Owls were supposed to travel to Memphis (4-10, 2-7 The American) for a matchup with the Tigers on Saturday at 2 p.m., but the game is postponed, head coach Tonya Cardoza said. There is no official announcement yet from either team.