On Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Cincinnati Bearcats women’s basketball team heads to Philadelphia for a matchup with the No. 23 Temple Owls.
Cincinnati is coming off a devastating 80-69 loss to the East Carolina Pirates, one of the worst teams in the American Athletic Conference. The loss dropped UC’s overall record to 16-11 and 7-7 in the AAC.
Meanwhile, the Owls are having a breakout season, reaching the top 25 for the first time in 11 years this week after an upset win over then 22nd ranked USF. Temple, currently ranked 23rd in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today Coaches poll , is 21-5 on the season and it has posted an 11-2 mark in the AAC.
Temple coach Tonya Cardoza has cultivated a culture of winning in North Philadelphia. Now in her eighth season, she has slowly built up the once lagging program, posting consecutive 20-win seasons the last two years and earning a pair of WNIT bids. The team plays excellent defense, they out-rebound most of their opponents and score consistently on offense.
Temple has four players that average in double figures. Junior guard Aliyah Butts, the team’s on-court leader and a returning first-team All-AACer, averages 14.6 ppg and leads the team in steals. Senior Feyonda Fitzgerald leads the team in assists and scoring average at 16.9 ppg. Power Forward Donnaizh Fountain averages 7.8 rebounds per game and 14.7 ppg while the team’s leading rebounde,r Tonaya Atkinson (8.2 rpg), averages 12.7 ppg.
The game will be televised online from Temple’s McGonigle Hall on ESPN3.