The women’s basketball team learned what happens when it follows a strong half with a poor second half Wednesday.
A Rutgers team, laden with young talent, proved to be too much for Temple, as the Scarlet Knights defeated Temple, 62-48, at the Liacouras Center. The loss ended the Owls’ 11-game winning streak.
“We played the perfect first half,” coach Dawn Staley said. “We just couldn’t duplicate it.”
Senior Kamesha Hairston led the Owls with 20 points, but received little help as no other Owl reached double figures. Junior center Lady Comfort scored four of her eight points in the first few minutes of the game.
Four Scarlet Knights scored at least 12 points. Freshman Epiphanny Prince netted 20 points and grabbed six rebounds.
In what was at times a physical first half, both teams committed a total of 15 turnovers and were only whistled for a combined 10 fouls.
Hairston kept the Owls (15-5) within striking distance, stringing together two 6-0 runs of her own to put the team ahead 25-19 with two minutes remaining. A three-point basket in the closing seconds by Rutgers forward Heather Zurich cut the lead to one at the half, 25-24.
Rutgers came out in the second half and went on an 8-2 run to take the lead at 38-36. And they didn’t look back.
“We settled for jump shots and turned the ball over at bad times,” Staley said. “And when you turn the ball over against Rutgers they don’t waste time taking the ball down the court and making you pay for it.”
The Scarlet Knights (11-6) shot 61 percent from the field in second half and created 15 points off of Temple turnovers. The loss moves the all-time series to 31-9, with Rutgers leading.
Temple hits the road for a home away from home game against fellow Big 5 rival Saint Joseph’s.
Jeremy Drummond can be reached at email@example.com.