Temple women’s basketball falls to nationally ranked UConn

Temple’s 88-67 loss to Connecticut on Saturday at the Liacouras Center marks the Owls sixth straight loss.

Graduate student guard Alliya Butts brings the ball upcourt during Temple's 66-57 loss against Tulane on Jan. 8 at McGonigle Hall. | MICHAEL ZINGRONE / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University women’s basketball coach Tonya Cardoza called timeout with seven minutes and 25 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter after Connecticut extended its lead to 22 points.

Moments before, UConn junior guard Crystal Dangerfield made a fast break layup on a full-court pass from freshman Forward Katie Lou Samuelson to give the Huskies the insurmountable lead.

“Today right from the start I thought she [Dangerfield] was in a good spot,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “When you get a couple to drop right away it opens up the floodgates.”   

Temple (4-13, 0-5 The American Athletic Conference) lost 88-67 to UConn (16-1, 5-0 The American) at Liacouras Center on Saturday afternoon. This loss increased the Owls’ losing streak to six, with five of those in conference play.

The Owls struggled on defense, allowing the Huskies to shoot 48.4 percent from the floor and gave UConn’s best players strong games.

UConn senior forward Napheesa Collier lead UConn with 30 points while shooting 10-for-15 from the floor. Dangerfield added 26 points and nine assists. Collier is UConn’s second-leading scorer averaging 18.2 points and 10.2 rebounds and Dangerfield is third in scoring with 12.9 points per game.   

“We talked about trying to be different,” Cardoza said. “Making sure we compete defensively for 40 minutes and just do the things that we have been harping on.”  

Even with those performances by the Huskies’ best players, Cardoza said there are some positives to take from the game.

The Owls shot 41.5 percent from the floor, well above their 37.6 percent average.

Graduate student Alliya Butts shot 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and led the team in scoring with 17 points. Butts made a 3-pointer with just 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter, making the score 64-50 — the closest Temple would come to the Huskies in the second half.

Sophomore guard Desiree Oliver recorded her first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and seven assists. Oliver’s 10 rebounds marked a new career high.  

“Sometimes I just struggle with the mental aspect,” Oliver said. “Today I just tried to make sure I had a lot of confidence in myself. They really could not guard us, so I took advantage of that.”

The Owls’ next game is Thursday on the road against Big Five rival Penn ( 9-3, 1-0 Ivy League).

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