LOWELL, Mass. – Fourty-eight combined points from Temple's Shey Peddy and Qwedia Wallace served as too much for 7th-seeded St. Bonaventure (20-11) to overcome Saturday evening as the 2nd-seeded Owls (23-7) defeated the Bonnies, 75-56, in quarterfinal action of the Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship.
Wallace converted a pair of free throws on Temple's first possession before junior Megan Van Tatenhove answered with a layup to knot the score at 2-2 at the 18:04 mark. But Peddy answered on the Owls subsequent possession with a 3-pointer, and from that point on, her and Wallace took over and the Owls led for the remainder of the game.
Both teams entered as the two best defensive clubs in the A-10 – No. 1 St. Bonaventure at 55.1 points per game against, and No. 2 Temple at 55.3 points per game against – but that proved to be an aberration in the game's opening 20 minutes as the two went to the locker room with the Owls leading 43-34. By contrast, when the two teams met in the regular season, the halftime score was 21-14 in favor of the Owls.
Temple shot 56.7 percent (17-30) from the floor in the opening frame, as the Bonnies did everything they could to remain within striking distance. Sophomore Chelsea Bowker provided a spark off the bench by hitting three straight 3-pointers for the Bonnies to help trim a 19-11 deficit to 24-20 with 7:49 left in the half, but that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the night.
St. Bonaventure made one more push to put a dent into its deficit as it opened the second half on a quick 4-0 spurt to pull within five at 43-38, but Temple countered that with a 7-0 run and its lead from then on was never smaller than 10, and got as large as 25.
Van Tatenhove led the Bona offense with 14 points, while redshirt junior Armelia Horton added 13 – her second-highest scoring effort of the year. Both Bowker and freshman Doris Ortega came off the bench to net nine, while fellow freshman CeCe Dixon grabbed a team- and season-high seven rebounds.
Wallace finished with 27 points, while Peddy contributed 21 and junior Kristen McCarthy added 16 to round out the trio of Temple double-figure scorers. The Owls shot 51.8 percent (29-56) for the game, the second highest field goal percentage against the Bonnies all year (Xavier, 53.6 percent). The Owls also knocked down nine 3-pointers, which is tied for the most by any opponent this year against St. Bonaventure.
After attempting a season-low eight 3-pointers in their first-round game Friday night against Fordham, the Bonnies were held to the same total against the Owls, connecting on a season-low-tying three of those attempts.
The loss was the third straight for St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament, with two of the losses being to Temple. The Bonnies will now await word next Monday, March 14, if they will be participating in the NCAA Tournament or Women's National Invitational Tournament for the third straight year.
Game Notes: The Bona bench outscored Temple's, 27-7 … junior Jessica Jenkins finished with six points, while Dixon contributed five for St. Bonaventure … Bonaventure was held without a second half made 3-pointer for the first time since Dec. 20 against Middle Tennessee State … the 75 Temple points are the third most an opponent has scored against the Bonnies this year.