Women's Basketball Falls To Temple, 47-42
Feb. 23, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Despite 17 points and 16 rebounds by senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the University of Massachusetts women's basketball team dropped below the .500 mark for the first time this season (12-13, 4-10), 47-42 to Temple (11-14, 7-7), before 1,949 fans at the Liacouras Center this afternoon. The loss for the Massachusetts was its fifth straight and ninth in a row away from the Mullins Center.
Unlike the first time these two teams met, an 89-80 UMass win in overtime on Jan. 16 at the Mullins Center, this afternoon's game was a defensive struggle. Temple led for just 46 seconds in the first half, but took an 18-16 into the locker room. The 16 points by the Minutewomen tied for the fewest in a half this season. They also scored 16 in the first half of a 52-49 win at Saint Peter's on Nov. 25. Butler led all scorers with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the half for her 21st double-double of the season. Massachusetts shot just .259 (7-27) in the half and committed 12 turnovers, while the Owls connected at a .292 (7-24) clip from the field and turned the ball over nine times.
A three-pointer by junior Judit Zsedenyi (Budapest, Hungary) at the 19:43 mark of the second half ended a 4:26 scoring drought for the Minutewomen and put them back on top, 19-18. The two teams then traded baskets for the next 10 minutes until Temple went on an 8-0 run spanning 2:37 to take an eight-point lead with 7:53 left. UMass answered back however with a 9-1 run of its own to tie the game at the 4:26 mark. Senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) had a three-pointer during the run, while a baseline jumper by senior Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) after a steal by sophomore Monique Govan (Chicago, Ill.) tied the game at 36.
Temple responded with a 6-0 run of its own on two trifectas by Stacey Smalls. UMass scored the next three points with a Zsedenyi free throw and a Butler basket, but Temple's Ari Moore scored on the other end to but the Owls back up five points with 1:40 left. The next trip down the floor, Butler went to the line at the 1:12 mark, but made just one of two shots. Needing a stop on the defensive end, UMass got it after the shot clock had been run down, but was unable to pull down the rebound. They had to foul and the Owls were able to take advantage, making four shots from the charity stripe down the stretch.
Massachusetts shot just .288 (15-52) for the game, while committing 20 turnovers. It did outrebound the Owls, 42-30. Temple shot .362 (17-47) for the game and committed 15 turnovers. Butler was the team's only double-figure scorer as Smith had seven points, while senior Siiri Liivandi (Rapla, Estonia) had six points and three rebounds and Zsedenyi and Pegues each had four points apiece. Smalls led the Owls with 16 points.
The Minutewomen return home for a game against Fordham on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2003. Tip-off at the Mullins Center is set for 7:00 p.m.