Points off turnovers help Owls win despite poor shooting

Temple got 14 steals and forced 23 turnovers in its 53-39 win against the University of Vermont on Sunday at McGonigle Hall.

At the end of the third quarter, junior guard Alliya Butts stole the ball then took it back to the other side of the court, maneuvering around a defender with euro-step for a layup.

Converting points off turnovers helped lead Temple to a 53-39 victory against the University of Vermont on Sunday in McGonigle Hall. The Owls scored 20 points off 23 turnovers by the Catamounts.

“We were really stagnant on offense,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “For whatever reason, Alliya and Feyonda [Fitzgerald] decided that they didn’t really want to shoot the ball today, so we were able to press and get some easy buckets in transition.”

The Owls shot 31.7 percent from the field and made only two of their 18 3-point attempts. The lack of 3-point shooting hurt the Owls, who entered play averaging seven baskets per game from beyond the arc per game.  

Temple pulled away after the first quarter, which was low-scoring and filled with mistakes. The period ended with the Catamounts up 9-5. The two teams combined for 10 turnovers.

“I didn’t like how we played,” Cardoza said. “I thought we were really sloppy. After a loss like we had at Harvard, you would think that the intensity level and hunger and passion would be exuded all over the floor, and we didn’t really have that, so that was disappointing.”

Despite a generally lackluster game, several players stepped up while leading scorer senior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald struggled from the field. She scored six points, shot 2-10 from the field and missed all three of her 3-point attempts.

Senior forward Ruth Sherrill played her best game of the season, notching six points after averaging less than one point per game in her previous four contests. Sherrill also pulled in six rebounds.

“I know coach really has been asking for the post players to step up these last couple games,” Sherrill said. “I feel like I’ve had the opportunity to do that, but the last couple games I’ve also been in foul trouble, so just to be disciplined, stay out of foul trouble, I got a chance to really step up when we lost a player.”

Junior guard Tanaya Atkinson checked out of the game about halfway into the first quarter after she doubled over in pain. She didn’t return for the remainder of the game and Cardoza had no update of her status.

Junior guard Donnaizha Fountain returned to the court after not playing in the last two games. She tied Butts’ team-high 16 points. Fountain also logged nine rebounds and three steals in 25 minutes of play.

“Donnaizha knows her role, and I don’t think she picked it up because of Tanaya,” Cardoza said. “That’s just what she does.”

Freshman forwards Shantay Taylor and Shannen Atkinson combined for eight rebounds and eight points. Taylor also earned her first start of the season.

“Our freshmen are still learning the way,” Cardoza said. “But I thought they did a really good job.”

The Owls’ next game is on the road on Wednesday against Hampton University.

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