Short-Handed Owls Lose a Close Game in Orlando
Written by: Zack Silverstein
Photo by: Mary Perez
After losing all three of its bench players, Temple women’s basketball (10-16, 5-9 American Athletic Conference) fell 57-53 to UCF (12-13, 3-10 AAC), extending its losing streak to five games.
The first quarter of this game saw major offensive struggles from both teams. The score was locked at zero for just over four minutes until UCF junior forward Ashton Verhulst made a three-point jumper. Temple responded 45 seconds later with a three-pointer of its own off the fingertips of junior guard Tarriyona Gary.
Temple’s starting sophomore forward Caranda Perea played just two minutes after exiting the game with an injury. The injury meant the Owls had just seven active players remaining.
The Owls were much more competitive in the second quarter, outscoring the Knights 20-16. Temple continued to struggle from the field, shooting just 7-18 (38.9%), but a UCF scoring drought of just under three minutes allowed the Owls to cut into the lead.
The Knights led the Owls 31-25 at the halftime break.
Temple’s bench got even thinner with 8:42 remaining in the third quarter. Junior forward Brittany Garner was ejected after a miscommunication caused her to sub into the game too early. The ESPN+ broadcast explained that a premature substitution always results in an automatic ejection.
This left the Owls with just a single player on the bench.
Even with just six active players remaining, Temple won the third quarter 17-7. UCF attempted just 10 field goals, connecting on three of them. Temple, on the other hand, shot 5-21 from the field (23.8%), but was 5-5 from the free throw line.
The Knights didn’t score a single point for the final 4:51 of the quarter. This allowed Temple to take a lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Temple was looking more comfortable, but then the unthinkable happened.
Starting sophomore forward Ines Piper fouled out with 7:25 remaining, dropping the Owls to just five active players.
After Piper’s exit, sophomore forward Tiarra East made two free throws to put Temple up 49-45. However, the game shifted from that point on.
On the offensive side, the Knights went on a 9-0 scoring run which lasted 4:38. Perhaps even more impressive, their defense held the Owls scoreless for 5:13.
UCF outscored Temple 12-6 from the time of Piper’s exit, and 19-11 in the fourth quarter as a whole.
The Owls will play their regular-season finale against Wichita State at Charles Koch Arena on Saturday, February 25 at 3 p.m. The game can be streamed live on ESPN+.