It was an effort to be proud of for the Temple women’s basketball team on Wednesday at the Liacouras Center. The Lady Owls (16-5, 6-2) fell 97-69 at the hands of the No. 1 ranked UConn Huskies (21-0, 9-0), but the score wasn’t reflective of how competitive the team had played.
UConn won its 96th straight game and an NCAA record 35th consecutive road game due to a sensational first half where they shot 20 of 26 from the floor for a ridiculous 77 percent. In that same time period, the Owls shot just seven of 36 for 20 percent. The second half was a different story.
The Owls outscored the Huskies 51-45 in the second half. The 29 points the Huskies gave up in the third quarter was the most the Huskies have given up in a quarter all season. The 28 point margin of victory is the smallest UConn has won by in conference play this season. UConn coach Geno Auriemma took notice and praised Temple coach Tonya Cardoza after the game.
“When you look at their team, and you look at the way they play, and how hard they compete,” Auriemma said, “I think it’s a big statement about Tonya. The way their team played in the second half … that’s a direct reflection on Tonya and her coaching staff.”
With an NCAA tournament berth on their minds, Temple can take their second half performance and use it for the rest of the season.
“Playing against UConn … they show you every night why they are great,” Cardoza said. “I love that my team gets to play against them.”