LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Temple had its chances against No. 4 Louisville. Missed free throws did the Owls in.
They missed eight of nine from the free throw line in Wednesday night's 60-50 loss to the Cardinals, leaving coach Tonya Cardoza lamenting failed chances in many areas.
"When you're playing a team like Louisville and have opportunities and don't capitalize, it's disheartening," said Cardoza, whose postgame meeting took longer than usual as they dissected the loss. "We had a lot of easy opportunities that missed."
Foul-line troubles weren't the only things that dogged Temple (12-12, 6-7 American Athletic Conference). The Owls had 17 turnovers and shot 38 percent from the field. Despite outrebounding the Cardinals 41-40 and outscoring their reserves 18-6, that extra rebound or basket seemed to elude them when they were within a couple of possessions of making things interesting.
That's where the missed free throws proved costly, especially when Louisville (24-2, 12-1) was shooting slightly better.
Trailing 56-50 with 21 seconds left after Monaye Merritt's jumper, Tyonna Williams fouled Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel, who made both foul shots to seal the game. She finished with 21 points.
The Cardinals had no reason to brag, though, in shooting just 40 percent from the field (22 of 55), making just 12 of 26 free from the line and committing 11 turnovers — a combination that left the door open for Temple up to the final minute.
"We got lucky with this one because we missed so many free throws," Schimmel said. "It was just weird for us. We thought they were going in, but they just didn't. Coach (Jeff) Walz told us we were lucky for pulling this one out because against a good team we're going to lose this one because we don't make free throws."