Temple women beat St. Joe's to clinch Big 5 crown
Kristen McCarthy scored a game-high 16 points and Qwedia Wallace had 15 points and six rebounds as Temple clinched the Big 5 women's basketball crown with a 52-49 victory over Saint Joseph's last night at Hagan Arena.
The Owls have now beaten the Hawks 11 straight times, though St. Joe's still leads the series, 40-32. Temple (22-6, 13-0 Atlantic 10, 4-0 Big 5) also has won 15 consecutive games overall. Temple won the Big 5 title outright for the first time since 2008.
Wallace hit Temple's only three-pointer of the game with 25 seconds left, extending a one-point lead to four. Shey Peddy then went 2-for-2 at the free throw line, and a last-second three from the Hawks' Katie Kuester was not enough.
Ashley Prim led St. Joe's with 12 points, and Kelly Cavallo scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The teams were tied five times in the first 10 minutes, the last at 15-15. Temple held a brief, 17-15 lead before Saint Joseph's used a 10-0 run to take a 25-17 lead, capped by a three-pointer from Dominique Bryant.
With a minute left in the first half, Peddy converted a three-point play to narrow the margin to 25-20. The Hawks then went cold, but scored the final bucket of the half to take a 27-20 lead into halftime.
The Owls opened the second half with a 13-2 run to take a 33-29 lead less than 5 minutes in. The Hawks scored only one basket in nearly 7 minutes after as the second half began.
Temple, leading by 39-38, went on an 8-0 including a three-point play by McCarthy to take a 47-38 lead at 7:22, its largest lead of the game.
But while Temple went scoreless for the next 4 minutes, the Hawks narrowed the margin only by two. But Saint Joseph's got to within 47-46 with a minute and a half remaining, before Wallace and Peddy sealed the victory.
The Owls next host No. 6 Xavier on Sunday at 4 p.m. to determine the A-10 regular-season champion. The Musketeers (24-2, 13-0) are coming off a 64-41 victory over George Washington.
The Hawks will close out the regular season at GW Sunday.
In another game:
* At La Salle, senior guard Ashley Gale and forward Jess Koci (Archbishop Ryan) scored 18 points each, but it was not enough, as the Explorers fell, 69-65, to Richmond at Tom Gola Arena. Koci and guard Alexis Scott each had a team-high eight rebounds for La Salle (9-19, 5-8 A-10), which honored Gale and forward Chelsea Conner on Senior Night.
Abby Oliver led the Spiders (17-10, 8-5) with 20 points.
La Salle will close out the season on Sunday with a road game against Massachusetts. *