After back-and-forth play during the first three quarters, Temple Women’s Basketball (3-5, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) gained a nine point lead, their biggest lead of the game at the time, when sophomore guard Jasha Clinton scored on a fast break layup following a steal from junior guard Tarriyonna Gary.
The Owls earned their second win at The Liacouras Center this season after defeating the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2-5, 0-0 America East Conference) 68-53 on Saturday afternoon.
The Owls, who shot just 26 percent from beyond the three-point line in a 77-65 loss to Old Dominion University (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt Conference) on Nov. 30, put together a better showing against the Retrievers by shooting 37 percent from three.
Temple closed the game on an 11-1 scoring run, erasing any of UMBC’s hopes to claw back into the contest.
Senior guard Aleah Nelson continued to be a key offensive factor for the Owls, finishing with 14 points and shooting 4-10 from the field while adding seven assists. Gary also played well offensively leading Temple with 15 points, while knocking down three shots from beyond the arc.
“Every day I shoot threes actually every day so I know I just have let it go and whatever happens, happens,” Gary said.
The Owls’ defense was stout in the first half, forcing 15 turnovers and recording 17 points off UMBC’s mistakes.
“We have to play some tough defense and so forcing them to turn the ball over and scoring off of that,” Richardson said. “That’s part of our M.O. when we talk about playing at our pace.”
Turnovers were also an issue for the Owls early in the game when they turned the ball over 12 times. The Retrievers took advantage of the Owls’ mishaps and finished the first quarter on a 7-0 run.
Temple controlled the ball more effectively in the second half, cutting their turnovers to six in the last 20 minutes.
The Owls began the second quarter with a three-minute scoring drought, but Nelson revived the team with a three-pointer, boosting Temple’s offensive momentum for the rest of the first half.
Sophomore forward Ines Piper, who had a season-high in points and rebounds with nine, continued to be an important piece of the Owls’ low post game.
Piper and redshirt junior Brittany Garner both crashed the glass on the offense and defense, but UMBC still outrebounded Temple 41-39 in the contest.
“We expected [Piper] to rebound and she’s really grasped that these last couple games where she’s out there rebounding,” Richardson said. “She’s getting in the mix all the time. That was something she wasn’t too used to but she’s adapted to what our team needed.”
Temple will look to build off their win when they take on Big 5 rival La Salle University (6-3, 0-0 Atlantic-10) 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5 at The Liacouras Center.