Penn’s Kayla Padilla Puts the Quakers on her Back, Dropping Temple’s Big 5 Record to 1-3
Written by: Zachary Silverstein
Photo by: Andrew Mayo
Temple’s poor free-throw shooting proved to be the difference maker in a 62-61 defeat to Penn before a rowdy crowd at The Palestra.
“They just received some choice words about their free throw shooting,” Temple head coach Diane Richardson said.
The first quarter was an even affair from both Temple and Penn. Junior forward Jordan Obi and senior guard Kayla Padilla both led the way for Penn, scoring six points each. For Temple, sophomore guards Jasha Clinton and Tiarra East each scored 5 points. The quarter ended with the teams tied 12-12.
Tiarra East had a second quarter to remember after she racked up nine points, two rebounds, and two steals in nine minutes. She had back to back sequences where she read the passing lane perfectly, intercepted the pass, and finished with a fast break layup on the other end. East single handedly put the Owls up 29-21.
However, Penn held Temple scoreless in the final two-plus minutes of the half while going on a six point run of their own. Penn had cut its deficit to two points, with the halftime score being 29-27.
Temple opened the third quarter very aggressive, jumping out to a 44-29 lead with 5:20 remaining. Jasha Clinton led the way with 7 points. However, the Owls found themselves in a tough spot after allowing the Quakers to go on an 11-0 run in two minutes and fifty seconds.
Padilla finished the quarter with 11 points, shooting 3-5 from the three-point line and 2-2 from the free throw line. In the quarter, Padilla reached the 1;000-point mark, becoming the fastest player in head coach Mike McLaughlin’s tenure to reach 1,000 career points.
“Once they announced that Kayla reached 1,000 career points,” McLaughlin said, “she looked at us and said, ‘let’s go win this game.’”
Temple opened the fourth quarter 48-45, but they were not able to maintain the lead. Jasha Clinton was starting to provide a spark, but went down with what appeared to be a leg injury.
Temple head coach Diane Richardson was not optimistic.
“It does not look good,” Richardson said. “Jasha doesn’t cry, and she was crying out there.”
Penn started to gain momentum after Clinton’s exit, and in the end, Padilla put the team on her back. She made a tough left handed layup with six seconds remaining to give the Quakers the lead for good, her 28th and final point of the afternoon.
Then, after Tiarra East was called for a travel on the inbounds pass, the ball was inbounded to Padilla and she ran all around the court, evading every Owl that was trying to foul her.
Temple will have some time to recover and clean some things up, as their next game isn’t until Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. against Duquesne at the Liacouras Center.