With three minutes and 53 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, senior guard Emani Mayo netted a left corner 3-point basket to give Temple University women’s basketball a 58-55 lead over Wichita State, which they would never relinquish in their victory against the Shockers on Saturday afternoon.
Mayo’s shot punctuated a second-half comeback the Owls (5-5, 5-2 The American Athletic Conference) made, characterized by efficient shooting and a stout defense, to elevate them 65-55 over Wichita State (3-6, 0-4 The American) and snap their two-game losing streak.
With the Shockers’ defense zeroing in on the Owls’ leading scorer senior forward Mia Davis, freshman guard Jasha Clinton took the reins on offense, scoring a game-high 21 points.
“I feel like having my coaches believe in me and my teammates encouraging me, to keep shooting even when I miss, to keep attacking even when I miss, that helps my confidence,” Clinton said.
Clinton is Temple’s second-leading scorer, averaging 13 points per game.
“I thought Jasha [Clinton] did a great job,” said head coach Tonya Cardoza.
With Temple trailing 47-38 with four minutes and 48 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Owls went on a run to bring the score to 47-45, with Clinton and Davis combining for seven points.
“Mia [Davis] talked to us and said we had to bring the energy in the fourth quarter,” Clinton said. “With Mia being our best player, our captain, we knew we had to win the game for her.”
Although Davis had 16 points, it was sophomore guard Asonah Alexander who stepped up Saturday afternoon. Alexander came into the game averaging seven shots per game, but she shot 11 times today and scored 12 key points, including nine in the first half.
“In the locker room, I applauded her that she took 11 shots,” Cardoza said. “For her to look to be aggressive shooting the ball from deep, putting a ball on the floor looking to attack, get into the free throw line that just says a lot because we need other guys like her to step up and be that offensive threat.”
The Shockers let it fly early on in the game, knocking down seven of their 18 attempts from beyond the arc. The Shockers are only shooting 34.1 percent from 3-point range this season, which made their early success all the more surprising.
Junior guard Asia Strong led the Shockers with 17 points and made three 3-point shots.
Temple will play #14 South Florida on, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m.