Houston grabbed three consecutive offensive rebounds with seven minutes left in the game, resulting in the Cougars stretching their two-point lead to nine.
Temple University women’s basketball (4-11, 0-3 American Athletic Conference) surrendered 14 offensive rebounds in a 78-65 loss against Houston on Saturday at Fertitta Center. The Owls are 1-8 in away games and winless in conference play this season.
“We’re losing games over things that we can control, turning the ball over, not boxing out, those are things that we can control,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “Somehow, someway, we have to learn how to close things out, how to step up and make big plays.”
Temple was outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter and outrebounded 37-29 the entire game. Houston (8-8, 2-1 The American) tallied 17 second-chance points from its offensive rebounds.
The Owls’ leading scorer, sophomore forward Mia Davis, sat much of the fourth quarter due to foul trouble. She eventually fouled out, ending the game with 19 points and three assists.
“Just like all season, we give ourselves a chance, but when it’s time to close it out, we don’t make the plays that we need to make in order to win games,” Cardoza said. “We’re not the most talented team, but we’ve always been in just about every game, but it’s about making plays in stretches that really matter and we haven’t done that up to this point.”
Junior forward Shantay Taylor and sophomore forward Breanna Perry led the team with five rebounds each.
“It has to be a concerted effort on every guy that’s out there,” Cardoza said. “It can’t be one or two guys doing it and then someone’s not doing their job. Everyone has a job to do, and right now, we’re not doing it, all five guys that are out on the floor.”
Graduate student guard Alliya Butts accounted for half of Temple’s points in the final ten minutes with five fourth-quarter points. She finished with 16 points on 4-of-17 shooting, with three steals and four rebounds.
The Owls will travel to Ohio on Jan. 16 to play Cincinnati. Cardoza has different hopes for the game.
“Right now, I’m just looking for consistency,” Cardoza said. “I’m looking for guys to just go out there and give everything they have and stick to the game plan and listen and do the little things that matter. Because right now, we’re not doing the little things.”