Temple guards lead the way in conference victory against Wichita State

Asonah Alexander scored a season-high 17 points on Saturday.

Sophomore guard Asonah Alexander dribbles the ball during the Owls' game against Wichita State University at McGonigle Hall on Jan. 23. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

With one minute left in the fourth quarter, Owls freshman guard Jasha Clinton passed the ball to junior forward Alexa Williamson in the post. Williamson turned toward the basket and laid the ball off the glass and into the hoop. 

Wichita State previously shaved Temple’s 13-point fourth-quarter lead to just six, but Williamson’s basket, which was her first of the game, pushed the Owls’ lead to eight points, keeping the game out of reach for the Shockers.

Temple University women’s basketball (7-7, 7-4 The American Athletic Conference) defeated the Wichita State Shockers (4-8, 1-6 The American) 65-57, the second time the Owls defeated the Shockers in two weeks.

Temple led comfortably for most of the game due to a strong outing from sophomore guard Asonah Alexander and the team’s other guards. 

For Temple’s offense to be more efficient, Alexander needed to assert herself as a scorer, said Temple head coach Tonya Cardoza. 

Alexander scored nine first-quarter points and finished with a season-high 17 points and six rebounds.

“I thought Asonah [Alexander] did a really good job of just being ready, being aggressive, looking to go attack, looking to shoot the ball when she was open and being a distributor,” Cardoza said.

The Shockers were determined to let anyone but Temple senior forward Mia Davis beat them. In the first half, they employed a mix of strategies to contain her production, including a box and one defense that limited her ability to generate open shots.

Alexander, Clinton and senior guard Emani Mayo stepped up and led the Owls offensively with 26 of the team’s 34 first-half points.

Clinton scored 16 points and had five assists. Mayo finished the game with nine points.

Because Temple’s guards had success in the first half, Wichita State came out in the second half in a man-to-man defense instead of just focusing on Davis. Davis responded by scoring five straight points to open the second half.

Davis ended up tying Alexander for the team lead with 17 points and also grabbed seven boards. She helped lead the Owls’ successful campaign to assert themselves on the glass. The Owls grabbed 40 rebounds, while the Shockers only recorded 30.

“We knew it was really important for us to not give them second chance opportunities because they really do look to crash,” Cardoza said. “And I thought we did a really concerted effort of putting the body on guys and going and getting the rebound.”

Senior guard Mariah McCully led Wichita State with 18 points, including two 3-point shots.

The Owls’ next contest will come at home against Houston (10-5, 7-4 The American) on Feb. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

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