Temple women’s basketball rides hot second-half to beat Memphis

The Owls outscored the Tigers 48-19 in the second half on Monday night in Memphis, Tennessee.

Sophomore forward Mia Davis looks to pass during Temple's 84-62 win against East Carolina on Jan 26 at McGonigle Hall. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University women’s basketball won the final game of its regular season by its largest margin on Monday.

Temple (10-18, 6-9 American Athletic Conference) topped Memphis, 84-53, on the road behind a strong second-half performance.

The Owls outscored the Tigers (10-19, 5-11 The American) 48-19 in the final 20 minutes. Temple shot 57.36 percent from the field and made eight of 20 shots from behind the arc.

Sophomore forward Mia Davis’ recorded her 12th double-double and freshman guard Marissa Mackins scored a career-high 23 points.  

Davis led Temple in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting while grabbing 14 rebounds. Sophomore forward Shantay Taylor scored a career-high 16 points, making 7-of-10 shots.  

“We were shooting the ball well,” coach Tonya Cardoza said after the game. “We had a lot of guys involved in the offense tonight. Defensively, I thought we did a really good job limiting their best player to just seven points.”

Mackins scored 17 points in the second half and made five of the Owl’s eight 3-point makes.

Mackins hit a 3-pointer with two minutes, 47 seconds left in the third quarter to cap an 8-0 run, in which she scored all eight points.

“[Mackins] confidence has definitely grown,” Cardoza said. “She’s not second-guessing herself, and she’s a great shooter. Right now she believes in it and is making shots.

“[Mackins] is just ready on the floor early on defensively, and she wasn’t sure what to do before, but now I think she understands,” she added.  

The Owls held Memphis’ leading scorer and freshman guard Jamirah Shutes to just seven points on 2-for-12 shooting. Shutes averages 13.8 points per game this season.

The Owls secured the No. 6 seed in The American Conference tournament after Monday’s win.

This win and the Owls’ win against Wichita State at home on March 2 gives them momentum heading into the tournament, Cardoza said.

“Momentum is always huge, and right now I think the confidence factor is huge,” Cardoza added. “A lot of guys are playing with a lot of confidence in these last two games and shooting the ball well.”

Temple will face Memphis again the first round of the tournament on March 8 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

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