WRITTEN BY: MELISSA PAYAVIS
The Owls put on a show for over 2,000 local students who came to the Liacouras Center on Wednesday afternoon, as Temple defeated Tulsa, 70-43. Wednesday’s game was Temple’s annual “School Day,” where students from North Philadelphia schools got to cheer on the Owls as they notched their eighth conference win this season.
Turnovers were detrimental to the Golden Hurricane, who gave the ball up eight times in each half, compared to the Owls’ six total turnovers on the day. Temple was able to capitalize on Tulsa’s miscues, putting up around 19, 21 and 20 points in the first three quarters, respectively.
Temple led by 39 points with 3:30 left in the fourth, its biggest lead of the day. This also happened to be the only quarter that Temple was outscored. However, the massive deficit proved to be far too much for the Golden Hurricane to overcome. Temple finished the day with eight steals, with the game’s leading scorers, Donnaizha Fountain (17 points) and Feyonda Fitzgerald (14 points) each recording three takeaways.
This was the 15th annual School Day, a tradition that has been lucky for the Owls. They have never lost a game with students from the area cheering them on.
“The kids bring so much energy and intensity, and they’re just into the game,” Fountain said. “This is one of the games I feel like we really look forward to, just to show out for Philly and the kids, and give them something to look forward to.”
With just six games left in the regular season, Coach Tonya Cardoza believes her team can’t afford any mistakes.
“We’ve got to maintain our focus, we’ve got to be smarter and take advantage of opportunities that we have, and again it starts on the defensive end for us,” Cardoza said. “When we’re playing really good defense, we feed off of that.”
Thanks to Temple’s commanding lead, freshmen Shannen Atkinson and Shantay Taylor were each able to log double digit minutes. Collectively, the pair nabbed five rebounds and scored two points.
The Owls travel south to take on the East Carolina Pirates on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Greenville, N.C.