Temple’s Season Ends after Falling to Wichita State in the AAC Tournament
Written by: Adrian Maghacot
Photo by: Zack Silverstein
Ninth-seeded Temple women’s basketball (11-18, 6-10 American Athletic Conference) fell in the first round of the AAC Tournament to eighth-seeded Wichita State (17-13, 6-10 AAC) 71-61 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX.
Guard DJ McCarty led Wichita State with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting as well as dishing out six assists, four rebounds, and two steals.
Temple guard Aleah Nelson led the way for the Owls with 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting while grabbing four rebounds and four assists.
Wichita State got out to an early eight-point run and didn’t allow Temple to score until the 5:18 mark in the first quarter. In addition to the 27% shooting, the Owls struggled with securing the ball as the team had five turnovers in the first.
On the other hand, McCarty and forward Jane Asinde led the Snickers after out rebounding the Owls and scoring 11 of the team’s 17 first-quarter points.
Early in the second quarter, Temple started to cut the Wichita State lead all the way to five. However, the later half of the quarter was a struggle for the Owls as they had many opportunities to score, but missed eight straight shots in the span of three minutes.
Wichita State only shot the ball 12 times and made five of them in the second quarter, but the lack of made shots from the Owls allowed the Shockers to keep a seven-point lead heading into halftime.
Going into the second half, both teams started getting into their respective rhythms, but the Owls were closing in on a comeback. Guard Tarriyonna Gary took control by scoring eight points, including a buzzer-beating three pointer to cut the Shocker’s lead to three at the end of the third quarter.
Despite Temple tying the game to start the fourth quarter, Wichita State took a seven-point run and the Owls were unable to score until three minutes later. After that point, the Shockers controlled the rest of the game, forcing the Owls to shoot 5-16 the entire quarter. After making five of their last seven field goals, the Shockers closed out the game, winning by 10 points.
In addition to McCarty’s 18 points, three other Shockers scored in double-digit figures: forward Trajata Colbert’s 15, guard Shamaryah Duncan’s 11, and guard Ambah Kowcun’s 11. Duncan led the Shockers with seven rebounds.
In addition to Nelson’s 22 points, forward Tiarra East scored 15, and Gary had 11. Nelson led the team with four assists, and forward Ines Piper and guard Makayla Waleed each had four rebounds, with Waleed having a career-high in that category.
With the win, Wichita State will move on to face first-seeded South Florida (26-5, 15-1 AAC) in the AAC quarterfinals on Tuesday, Mar. 7 at 1 p.m.
Temple’s loss marked the third consecutive time the team lost in the first round of the conference tournament.