MALIBU, Calif. – The comeback was nearly complete in the final minute, but ultimately not to be as the Temple women’s basketball team fell 73-69 at Pepperdine (4-2) on Friday afternoon. Three players scored in double figures for the Owls, led by Satoria Bell with 16 points.
Temple led the game for the first 10 minutes, but early in the second half the Owls found themselves down by as many as 14. With under a minute remaining Temple had narrowed the margin to two, but was unable to tie the game.
Qwedia Wallace scored 14 points including three treys while dishing out a team-high five assists, and Marli Bennett came off the bench for 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
The Waves drained 10 three-pointers in the first half, but only 13 total field goals. Pepperdine’s Katie Menton made four of those treys, and was the only one on her team with a bucket from the field until after the midway point of the half.
Temple hovered around 50 percent shooting from the field for most of the half, and held a five-point, 22-17 lead on the Waves with eight minutes to go. The efforts of the Owls’ Marli Bennett helped Temple stay in it as she went 3-of-3 from the field and led all players with six rebounds at the break.
Pepperdine led by as many as 10 around the one-minute mark, but Temple went into halftime down only seven, 40-33 after Wallace hit the Owls’ first trey with 53 seconds left.
Temple out-rebounded the Waves 27-16 in the first half, but lost opportunities at the free throw line where the Owls were just 8-for-17.
Pepperdine extended its lead to 14 points, 49-33 within the first three minutes of the second half as Temple was held scoreless, but the Waves’ run ended there.
Starting with a three-pointer from Kristen McCarthy, the Owls exploded for a 12-0 run in just over a two-minute span. Less than five minutes into the second half, Temple had pulled to within four, 49-45.
Unfortunately for the Owls, Pepperdine got its momentum back and once again widened the lead back to double digits.
The Waves made only one field goal in the final eight minutes of the game, but were solid at the free throw line to prevent the Owls from coming within fewer than seven points down the stretch.
With one minute remaining, Bennett converted an old-fashioned three-point play to get Temple within five, and after the Owls forced a turnover at the other end, Wallace drained a three with 37 seconds on the clock to narrow the margin to two, 71-69.
Despite Temple’s pressure, Pepperdine’s Shay Cooney-Williams hit a 10-foot jumper on the right side with her team’s final possession, putting the final margin at four points.
Temple will play its second and final game in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 28 as the Owls face #13/13 UCLA at 2:00 p.m. (PST).