Three Temple University women’s basketball players scored in double digits and five recorded double-doubles.
But the Owls’ second-leading scorer Alliya Butts was not among them.
La Salle held the graduate student guard scoreless. However, she still found a way to contribute, recording a career-high 10 assists.
Even with Butts not scoring a point, Temple (4-7, 2-1 Big Five) defeated Big Five opponent La Salle (3-11, 0-3 Big Five), 75-47, in McGonigle Hall on Sunday.
“It was a total team effort,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “To have five guys in double figures, that’s something that we definitely can try to build off of.”
Sophomore guard Emani Mayo led Temple’s scoring with a season-high 18 points. Mayo takes a lot of pride in her defensive play, she said. That effort helped her record six steals and six rebounds.
“Emani’s a very capable scorer,” Cardoza said. “But more importantly, I think she could be one of the best defensive players that we’ve ever had.”
Temple recorded 12 steals and forced 17 turnovers to hold the Explorers to just 47 points. The Owls scored 19 points from turnovers.
“We had to be aggressive on the defensive end and try to be disruptive as much as we can,” Cardoza said. “Even though we might not have had a lot of points off the turnovers, I felt like we fed off that defense and it made us keep being aggressive.”
The Owls’ defensive momentum contributed to their offensive energy, Cardoza added. The Explorers made just 25.8 percent of their shots while the Owls shot 40 percent from the field.
Sophomore forward Mia Davis scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds, notching her sixth double-double of the season. Meanwhile, junior forward Shantay Taylor and freshman forward Alexa Williamson each earned their first career double-doubles. Taylor finished the night with 14 points and 13 rebounds while Williamson ended with 11 points and 12 rebounds in her first start at Temple
“There was more communication especially with Mia and Shantay,’ Cardoza said. “This was Lex’s first start and for them to be able to communicate with her and help her through that, I thought that was key. And that shows growth because one of the things we don’t do well is communicating/t on the floor with each other, and I thought that they did a really good job of helping her through it.”
With its second Big Five win, Temple still has a chance to win a share of the Big Five title.
The Owls beat Saint Joseph’s, but lost to Villanova. The Wildcats currently lead the Big Five with a 3-0 record, but play Penn on Jan. 16. If Penn (8-2, 2-0 Big Five) beats VIllanova (9-3), the Owls matchup with the Quakers on Jan. 23 would be for a three-way share of the Big Five title.
“That’s big because in the end, we’re trying to get a championship, trying to win the Big Five championship,” Butts said.
The Owls will play Duquesne University in their first game of 2019 on Jan. 2. American Athletic Conference play begins on Jan. 5 when Temple hosts South Florida.