In Thursday’s road win against American Athletic Conference opponent Houston, Temple got the bulk of its points from its three leading scorers.
Guards senior Feyonda Fitzgerald and juniors Donnaizha Fountain and Alliya Butts combined for nearly 86 percent of the Owls’ (14-3, 5-0 The American) points in their 10th straight victory. Temple beat Houston 69-57 Wednesday night at the Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston to remain undefeated in conference play.
Fountain led all players with a season-high 23 points and was one assist away from recording a double-double. Fitzgerald nabbed her fifth double-double with 22 points and 11 assists. Butts also contributed 14 points.
Midway through the third quarter, Fitzgerald left the game with an ankle injury. With Fitzgerald out, Fountain stepped in and scored 16 of Temple’s 30 points in the second half. Fitzgerald returned in the fourth quarter.
“Donnaizha really stepped up for us,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “[Fitzgerald] came back out when we really needed her out there in the fourth quarter. She’s a warrior, fighter, a competitor, and if we’re in trouble, she’ll do whatever she can to win.”
Fitzgerald, Fountain and Butts found success behind the 3-point arc. Each had nine points come from 3-pointers. The Owls had an above average shooting performance, making 42.9 percent of their shots from behind the arc, more than 10 percent higher than their average entering play..
Temple took the lead early and maintained it throughout the game, but there were times when the Cougars trailed the Owls by as few as two points late in the second half.
“We kept pulling away and they would keep finding a way to come back,” Cardoza said. “But that’s the way it is with conference play on the road. Whatever you can get, you’ll take.”
The Owls turned the ball over 19 times, leading to Houston’s 19 points off turnovers. Temple’s 49-31 rebounding advantage helped Temple hold onto its lead.
Senior forward Ruth Sherrill had a team-high eight turnovers but had a career-high 19 rebounds.
“I think it’s huge because that’s 18 more shots they could’ve gotten,” Cardoza said. “Ruth was getting frustrated with herself because she gave up some costly turnovers, so she wanted to make up for them.”
Temple returns home for a Saturday afternoon matchup against Memphis. The Owls and Tigers have played overtime games in their last two contests against each other.
Maura Razanauskas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CaptainAMAURAca. Follow The Temple News on Twitter @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.