Temple University women’s basketball (7-6, 0-1 The American Athletic Conference) concluded 2019 with a victory over La Salle (6-7), holding off the Explorers to win 72-69 on Monday at Tom Gola Arena. Sophomore guard Marissa Mackins hit the go-ahead three-point shot with two minutes, five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, ending a back-and-forth battle that saw nine lead changes.
The Owls fell behind early with La Salle holding a 25-13 lead after the first quarter. The Owls fought back with a strong second quarter, scoring 25 points against La Salle’s 10 to take a three-point lead into the second half.
Temple needed to explore new modes of scoring with junior forward and captain Mia Davis sitting out for the game. Davis is the Owls’ leading scorer, averaging 19.0 points per game and leading rebounder with 10.1 rebounds per game. Davis’ absence pressed junior guard Emani Mayo into 26 minutes of action. The Owls also ran a tight rotation with only seven players receiving more than 15 minutes of playing time and three players playing more than 35 minutes.
The scoring came primarily from Mackins and redshirt-sophomore guard Ashley Jones. The two players scored 51 of the Owls’ 72 points combined. Mackins knocked down seven three-point shots on 38.9 percent shooting and scored 28 points overall. Jones scored 23 points while shooting 7-of-15 from the field. Jones also made a pair of three-point shots. No other Temple player scored in double digits.
As a team, the Owls shot 36.9 percent, which was far below their season average of 39.6 percent. The shooting performance was dragged down by an abysmal first quarter in which they shot 13.6 percent overall and 18.2 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
La Salle shot 17.7 percent on field goals attempts and 10 percent on three-point shots in the second quarter. This allowed the Owls to erase the Explorers’ 12 point lead and take their first lead of the game with 2 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Owls ended 2019 with a 14-18 record overall, holding a record of 7-6 in their current season. They went 7-12 in the 2018-19 season after the calendar flipped to January, including a 2-7 record in January 2019.
The Owls will begin their January 2020 schedule against Tulsa in Oklahoma, tipping off at 3 p.m. on Jan. 4.