Temple coasts by Tulane for dominant conference win

Temple Women’s Basketball dominated Tulane for its fifth conference win this season in its 68-50 road win Sunday.

Tarriyonna Gary scored 16 points and went 4-8 from three-point range, in the Owls 68-50 rout over Tulane. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Throughout Temple Women’s Basketball’s season, head coach Diane Richardson has been critical of her team’s lack of effort at the beginning of games. After Temple’s 59-57 loss to Memphis on Jan. 14, she even called her squad’s effort “embarrassing.”

The Owls responded in force Sunday afternoon against Tulane. They scored 23 points in the first quarter, which was their highest total in the opening 10 minutes since their 109-43 season-opening win against Delaware State on Nov. 6. Temple set the tone for the afternoon and cruised for its fifth conference win of the season.

Temple (11-9, 5-3 American Athletic Conference) routed Tulane (8-11, 1-7 AAC) 68-50 Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. The Owls hit just four three-pointers against Southern Methodist on Jan. 24 but hit six in Sunday’s first half alone, remaining toward the top of the AAC standings. 

“They played us in zone,” Richardson said. “I don’t think they expected us to knock down threes today. Thank goodness we were on with threes because they were clogging up the middle, so we had to take outside shots.”

Guard Demi Washington led the Owls’ first-half charge, scoring 13 of her 22 points in the first 20 minutes of play as the Owls sprinted out to a 19-point halftime lead. She has now scored 15 or more points in three of the past five games, adding three rebounds and a block against the Green Wave.

“[Demi] has been relentless,” Richardson said. “She had a career high today, and she fought hard offensively and defensively.”

Washington wasn’t the only contributor in Richardson’s “equal-opportunity” offense. Guard Tarriyonna Gary chipped in with 16 points and was a focal point for the Owls’ hot start. She scored 11 points in the opening period while making all her shots from the field and pushing Tulane out of reach after just 10 minutes.

As Temple’s offense fired on all cylinders, its defense played just as well. The Green Wave scored 13 points in the first eight minutes but followed with nine points in the remaining 12 minutes.

Temple stifled Tulane, helping force 16 Green Wave turnovers while turning those extra possessions into 15 points. The Owls led by as much as 23 points early in the third quarter and trailed for just six seconds in its much-needed victory.

“We talked about lessons learned from our last games and the other two games that we lost,” Richardson said. “We started slow defensively. This team has some great shooters; without hesitation, they can knock down shots. I thought defense helped today by defending the three-point line really well.”

Temple will return to North Broad Street for its next game against Wichita State on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at The Liacouras Center.

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