PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Keeping pace in the second half was not enough to overcome a lackluster first half for Temple women's basketball in a 65-45 loss at Duquesne (14-3, 3-0) in Atlantic 10 Conference action. Rateska Brown
, who had a career performance earlier in the week, followed it up with a team-high 15 points for the Owls (7-10, 1-2).
also scored in double figures for Temple with 13, including 5-of-5 at the free throw line.
The Dukes got a game-high 23 points from Wumi Agunbiade, and 11 points from Vanessa Abel.
Temple started out cold and never recovered, trailing by double digits almost the entire way. The Owls kept pace in the final stretch of the second half, but could make up no ground on the Dukes. The ball-handling struggles returned for Temple as the Owls committed 25 turnovers to Duquesne's 16.
The Owls could not get anything to fall early on, while Duquesne had a hot start and jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Victoria Macaulay
put Temple on the board at 16:49, but following that bucket was an almost four-minute scoring drought for both teams.
made a jumper for Temple's second field goal of the game at 11:53, putting the Owls within eight at 14-6. From there, the Dukes used a 7-2 run for a 21-8 advantage just past the midway point of the half.
With eight minutes to go, Brown drained a three-pointer, but it would be the Owls' final field goal until the last second. Duquesne scored 13 points to Temple's one free throw over the eight-minute stretch.
Just seconds remained in the half when Temple took advantage of a Duquense turnover, and Jacquilyn Jackson
hit a fastbreak layup for the Owls at the buzzer. The Dukes took a 34-14 lead into the break.
Temple's 20 percent shooting and 14 points matched its worst first half of the season. The Owls also committed 13 turnovers to Duquesne's eight, leading to a 14-5 advantage in points off turnovers for the Dukes. Second-chance points also made a big difference, with Duquesne leading in that category 10-0 after one half of play.
Brown scored all seven points of a 7-2 run for the Owls to open the second half, narrowing the margin to 15 points. It would prove to be the closest Temple would get, as Duquesne answered right back and soon increased its lead to 24, 45-21 at 13:04.
The Owls did a little better than keep pace the rest of the way, but were never able to come within fewer than 20 points. After the 14-point first half, Temple ended up tying the Dukes 31-31 in the second half.
The Owls' next game will be their final non-conference game of the regular season, as Temple travels to nearby Penn for a Philadelphia Big 5 contest. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23.