With 6 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, sophomore forward Mia Davis made a layup and a foul shot to tie the game at 52. But that was as close as the Owls would get.
Temple University women’s basketball (9-18, 5-9 The American Athletic Conference) lost, 64-61, to Tulsa (12-15, 6-8 The American) on Wednesday night at McGonigle Hall. The Owls have now lost three straight games.
Temple trailed 33-22 at halftime due to poor shooting numbers and defense, coach Tonya Cardoza said. In the first half, the Owls shot 25.8 percent from the field and allowed Tulsa to make 66.7 percent of its shots from 3-point range.
“It felt like right from the start [Tulsa] took it right at us,” Cardoza said. “Really, there was no catching up and I felt like we played on our heels the entire game. Felt like [Tulsa’s] energy and effort was really good and we just did not match it.”
Despite trailing Tulsa, Temple shot 44 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the arc in the second half.
The Owls improved their defense in the second-half as Tulsa did not make a 3-pointer in the third quarter and amassed just a 29.4 second-half shooting percentage.
“It felt good because in the first half we were not hitting shots,” Davis said. “In the second half, we made some shots so it helped our confidence. We tried to get closer to them so we could win.”
Davis stole the ball under the Tulsa basket, four minutes into the fourth quarter, leading to a 3-pointer from graduate student guard Alliya Butts, which cut Tulsa’s lead to 50-49. The sequence was a product of the team’s improved play in the second half, Cardoza said.
Freshman guard Marissa Mackins led the Owls in scoring with 19 points, tying her season-high, on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor including 5-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Davis finished with 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds picking up her 11th double-double of the season.
Temple returns home for Senior Day against Wichita State (11-16, 4-10 The American) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in McGonigle Hall.
“We are gonna go to practice tomorrow and come up with a game plan and hopefully it works better against Wichita,” Cardoza said.