NEW ORLEANS — The Tulane women’s basketball team led Temple for over 24 minutes on Tuesday evening, but the Owls surged ahead in the fourth quarter to emerge with a 72-67 victory inside McGonigle Hall.
Kolby Morgan and Chinwe Duru powered the Green Wave offense with a combined 40 points.
“It was a hard-fought game that went back and forth, but it really came down to freethrows,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “We put them on the free-throw line 29 times to our 16, so if you look at the stats, a lot of things were even except for that.”
Tulane (19-9, 10-6) started the game on fire, knocking down five of its first six shots to go ahead 12-4 in the opening minutes. The Wave also converted their first 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, garnering an 11-point lead at 19-8 at the 2:12 mark in the first quarter.
Temple (18-9, 12-4) then rallied behind Alliya Butts, who scored 11 points in the opening 13 minutes of the game, cutting Tulane’s lead to 26-25 at 4:53 in the second quarter. Next, Morgan recorded an individual 7-0 run, which ultimately gave the Wave a 33-27 halftime lead.
However, the Owls recaptured the momentum by producing an 8-0 run in the third quarter to regain the lead at 37-36. The two sides battled back and forth for the remainder of the period as they went deadlocked at 51 points apiece to start the fourth quarter.
Later down 68-59 with 2:29 remaining, Tene Thompson began a Green Wave rally with a basket followed by a Morgan three-pointer. After a pair of Temple free throws, Vorpahl followed suit with a three of her own to cut it to one possession at 70-67 with 25 seconds to go. Temple then recorded a turnover which gave the Wave a chance to tie, but Thompson’s three-pointer missed at the 12-second mark as the Owls collected the rebound then converted yet another pair of free-throws to seal the victory.
In the end, Temple converted 23-of-29 from the free-throw line, including a 19-for-23 mark in the second half. On the flip side, Tulane went to the line 16 times, where they knocked down 12.
“I give them a lot of credit,” Stockton added. “I thought Temple did a great job, especially in that fourth quarter where we probably didn’t execute too well. Yet, we still had a chance to tie it up at the end of the game. It’s a tough loss, but I thought the effort was great.”
Morgan finished with 22 points on seven made field goals to go with her five rebounds and five steals. It marked Morgan’s fifth 20-plud point performance in the past six games. Meanwhile, Duru earned a season high 18 points on a season best 7-of-10 shooting.
Courtnie Latham recorded six points, eight rebounds and a career best eight assists. Lastly, Taylor Emery tacked on six points and four assists to go with her career high and team leading nine rebounds.
Up next, the Green Wave travel to Storrs, Connecticut, for their last road game of the regular season, where they’ll look to upset No. 1 UConn on Saturday.