Five Tulsa players scored in double-figures as the Golden Hurricane won its fifth-straight game with a 75-67 victory over the Temple Owls Tuesday night in front of 860 fans at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The Hurricane was led by Kelsee Grovey and Mariah Turner with 15 points apiece, followed by Antoinet Webster with 14 points, Ashley Clark with 12 and Kadan Brady with 10 points. Clark also grabbed 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, while Grovey tied her career-high with eight assists.
Temple was led by Alliya Butt's 17 points, while Erica Covile added 15 and Feyonda Fitzgerald scored 14 points.
Tulsa improved to 13-10 overall and 8-4 in the American Athletic Conference, while Temple fell to 11-14 and 7-5 in league play. The five-game winning streak is the longest since the 2012-13 season when the Hurricane won five consecutive contests with four of those wins coming as Tulsa captured the Conference USA Tournament championship.
Trailing 33-29 at halftime, Tulsa came out of the locker room on an 8-2 run to take a 38-35 lead at the 17:44 mark when Clark scored on a layup. The Owls knotted the score at 38 and again at 40 before the Hurricane would take a 42-40 lead on a Turner jumper with 16:02 remaining in the game.
The Hurricane held onto the lead for the remainder of the game, building its largest lead of 12 points with 4:19 left in the game as Grovey scored on a layup to make the score 69-57. Temple could get only as close as eight points on four different occasions in the final four minutes.
“We talked at halftime about how we didn't play particularly well, but we were still in the game,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “I give credit to our guys defensively. When you look at the stats it says we had five players in double figures, 19 assists, shot 47-percent and scored 75 points and all that is well and good, but our team really guarded. We really did a good job defensively. This team made 15 three's a few games ago against Memphis and we held them to 5-of-23 for 22-percent.”
Tulsa ended the game shooting 47-percent from the field, and knocked down 51-percent on 19-of-37 in the second half to outscore the Owls 46-34 in the final 20 minutes. The Hurricane out-rebounded Temple 44-to-31, while also dishing out 19 assists.
Temple jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first 4:20 of the game and increased that lead to 10 points at 19-9 with 10:53 left on the first-half clock. The Hurricane went on a 12-3 run over the next four minutes to cut the Owls lead to one point as Grovey connected on two-straight jumpers to bring the score to 22-21.
Tulsa took its first lead of the game at 25-24 on a Grovey layup at the 4:45 mark. After Temple retook the lead at 26-24, Webster's jumper put the Hurricane back ahead at 27-26, but that would be the last lead of the first half for Tulsa.
The Owls closed out the first 20 minutes on a 7-2 run to take a 33-29 lead into intermission.
Webster scored 10 first-half points to lead the Hurricane, while Covile led Temple with 13 points.
Tulsa goes on the road for two straight contests, including this Saturday (Feb. 14) against SMU and next Wednesday (Feb. 18) at USF. The Hurricane will be back at the Reynolds Center on Saturday, Feb. 21, to host the defending national champion and the nation's top-ranked UConn Huskies in a 2:00 p.m. game.