Big Five battle ends in win for Owls

WRITTEN BY: KEVIN SCHAEFFER @_kevinschaeffer

In a Big 5 battle Temple got back to .500 on the year. In a win over Villanova, Temple ended a three game skid as well as ending Villanova’s four game winning streak.

Temple's women's basketball team beat the Villanova Wildcats 61-55, Wed. Dec. 2, 2015, ending in a Big 5 victory for the owls. (Photo courtesy of The Liacouras Center)
Temple’s women’s basketball team beat the Villanova Wildcats 61-55, Wed. Dec. 2, 2015, ending in a Big 5 victory for the owls. (Photo courtesy of The Liacouras Center)

Temple, who started a small lineup with no starter being over six feet tall, controlled the game from early on, jumping out to a 12-2 lead before the first timeout. After the first quarter, Temple held Villanova just 17.6% from the field and 16.7% from deep. Temple ended the first quarter shooting 53.3%, with every starter scoring in the first frame.

“We followed the game plan, we limited [Villanova] to one shot, we didn’t commit fouls,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “Instead of going to block shots like we usually do, we did a good job staying on our feet.”

The second quarter was similar for the Owls, taking a 40-20 lead into halftime. Although Villanova was able to pick it up offensively, ending with almost triple the points they had in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Donnaizha Fountain was big for the Owls in the first half, she had a career high 10 points and eight rebounds before finishing the game with the same number of points and one more rebound.

“It helps me feel more comfortable,” Fountain said. “It gives me confidence and I know I can just give myself up for my team.”

The second half was where Temple really struggled offensively. In the third quarter the Owls only put up four points, on 11.1% shooting from the field. Temple did not make a single three in the second half after making two on five attempts in the first half. The fourth quarter game down to free throws, as the Owls put the game away and won 61-52.

“Playing only six girls all night really caught up with us,” Cardoza said. “In the second half we were just really fatigued and that hurt us.”

Junior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald paced the Owls in scoring, finishing with 23 points shooting 7-24 from the field, 1-3 from three and 8-10 from the line. Other standouts for Temple included senior guard Erica Covile. Covile notched tenth career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

“That’s my goal every game,” Covile said. “To go out there and get a double-double, and help my team win.”

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