Graduate student guard Alliya Butts sunk a 3-pointer with eight minutes, 45 seconds left in the midst of a 12-0 Temple run to secure a victory.
Temple University women’s basketball (9-15, 5-6 The American) made 44.4 percent of its shots in the fourth quarter to earn a 78-70 win against Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon at McGonigle Hall.
The Owls’ game-clinching run started after Cincinnati (16-9, 8-4 American Athletic Conference) junior guard Antoinette Miller made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 57 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Temple settled for better shots in the fourth quarter, coach Tonya Cardoza said.
“Earlier on in the third quarter, we were just jacking up shots,” Cardoza said. “We settled down and got the shots that we wanted. We attacked a little more and got to the free throw line. We finally started attacking and trying to get easier buckets.”
Butts led all scorers with 23 points and four assists. Sophomore forward Mia Davis scored 17 points and added 13 reboundsand while junior forward Shantay Taylor recorded 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
In the third quarter, Temple shot 27.3 percent from the 3-point line and allowed the Bearcats to go on a 16-2 run. Cincinnati shot 8-of-11 from beyond the arc in that quarter.
The Owls’ adjustments during the fourth quarter led to the team’s win, Butts said.
“We just slowed down and started to play our game and not let them play fast,” she said. “We were just able to come up with scores and stops.”
Temple played better on Sunday than in its previous game against Cincinnati on Jan. 16, Cardoza said. In the two teams’ last matchup, Temple led by eight with 2:34 left in the third quarter, but lost after a 35-7 Cincinnati run during the final 12 minutes of play.
Sophomore forward Illmar’l Thomas led the Bearcats with 22 points in January, but the Owls limited Thomas to 15 points on Sunday. Miller led the Bearcats with 16 points and added five rebounds and four assists.
“Last time, we turned the ball over a lot, committed a lot of unnecessary fouls and Thomas really went to work on us,” Cardoza said. “Today, I thought Shantay [Taylor] did a really good job of trying to keep [Thomas] off the block. A few times when she got a good position, we did a really good job of helping. We were up, lost the lead, but we didn’t let it snowball out of control.”
Temple will next play Southern Methodist (8-17, 2-10 The American) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Dallas, Texas.