Women’s basketball drops Big 5 game to Villanova

Temple’s record is now 1-1 in Big 5 play after the Wildcats’ 76-68 win at the Finneran Pavilion on Sunday.

Graduate student guard Alliya Butts shoots the ball during Temple's 59-39 win against Iona College on Dec. 6 at McGonigle Hall | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University’s inability to limit shots from the perimeter led to a 76-68 Big 5 loss to Villanova at the Finneran Pavilion on Sunday.

Villanova had a strong start making two 3-point shots in the first three minutes to jump out to an early seven-point lead.

The Wildcats did not let up, shooting 43.3 percent from beyond the arc and scoring more than half of their points off threes.

In their nine games this season, the Owls (3-6, 1-1 Big 5) played two of the top 16 teams in three-point shots per game in Division I of the NCAA.

DePaul University comes in at No. 1 while Villanova is ranked No. 16. Against those two teams, Temple gave up a combined 178 points, the most of any two games the Owls have played this season.

Coming into the game, Villanova averaged 9.5 three-pointers per game. The Wildcats made 13-of-30 3-point attempts on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Owls struggled from downtown, making just two threes and shooting just over 15 percent. Freshman guard Marissa Mackins made Temple’s only three-pointers which made up six of her 12 points on the day.

Graduate student guard Alliya Butts and sophomore forward Mia Davis led the Owls in scoring with 22 points each. Davis finished the game with nine rebounds, just one away from notching her fourth consecutive double-double. Butts added three steals and a team-high six assists.

After recording a season-high 24 turnovers against Iona College on Dec. 6, Temple only turned the ball over a season-low 11 times while forcing 18 Villanova turnovers on Sunday. The Owls then converted on the Wildcats’ mishaps, scoring 24 points off those turnovers.

Sophomore guard Desiree Oliver led the Owls with four steals. Oliver also led the bench with seven points, while freshman forward Alexa Williamson came off the bench to pull in six rebounds, second only to Davis’s nine.

Temple’s next game is Dec. 21 in Columbia, SC. The Owls will face their third ranked opponent of the season, the University of South Carolina, which is ranked No. 22 by the Associated Press.

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