In the second half, Temple held Rutgers University’s offense to only 11 points.
Largely thanks to Temple’s second-half defense, the Owls beat Rutgers 48-37 on Saturday at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.
In the low-scoring contest, senior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald led both teams in scoring with 19 points. Fitzgerald also finished the night with six steals, tying a personal best.
Junior guard Donnaizha Fountain helped out on offense for Temple with 15 points. She also picked up seven rebounds. Fountain and Fitzgerald combined for about 70 percent of Temple’s scoring.
The Owls missed out on the 16.1 points that junior guard Alliya Butts averages per game. Butts went 0-for-10 from the field, scoring her only two points off free throws at the end of the game.
Both teams struggled to score throughout the game. Temple finished with a field goal percentage of 33.9, while Rutgers shot 29.1 percent.
Senior forward Ruth Sherrill continued her defensive success, as she pulled in a team-high nine rebounds.
The Owls played well defensively in their most recent game against a ranked DePaul University team. Coach Tonya Cardoza said she hopes team will carry that style into its future games.
Cardoza also started the same five players for two straight games now, a new combination that seems to be working for the Owls. With this lineup, Fountain and Sherrill replace former starters junior guard Khadijah Berger and junior guard Tanaya Atkinson.
This is the second game Atkinson has played in since returning from an injury that kept her out for two games. She played 23 minutes, scored eight points and collected seven rebounds.
Maura Razanauskas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CaptainAMAURAca.