PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Temple had hoped to make it a long afternoon - win or lose - for No. 6 Rutgers, based on the competition between the two in recent seasons.
Instead the Scarlet Knights made quick work of the Owls in a 70-34 rout that surprised the coaches of both teams involved in the nonconference matchup.
"I thought it was going to be a five-point game," Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said afterward. "Temple is an excellent team. It was obvious from the tape they work hard.
"In this case, we thought Temple was going to bring us the game they're capable of - as a result, we stepped it up."
The Owls (7-7) had battled top-10 teams throughout the nonconference portion of the schedule and even held a 17-point halftime lead before losing to Stanford, which has since jumped to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll.
Asked what Temple could take away from yesterday's struggle, Dawn Staley quickly responded, "Absolutely nothing. We'll bury this tape, but we'll certainly work on some intangibles . . . on how to be ready.
"Rutgers made tough, tough shots. On the offensive end for us, we just didn't execute. We didn't attack the basket to score. We played hesitant. We played a little scared. And that's just very uncharacteristic of this team."
Staley couldn't recall a worse performance since she took over the program in the spring of 2000, and she was right.
The Temple output was the lowest since a 112-34 wipeout by nationally ranked Duke in Durham, N.C., on Dec. 12, 1998.
It was of no consolation to Staley when it was noted that Atlantic Ten conference rival and favorite George Washington was also humbled earlier this season, 67-42, at home by the Scarlet Knights (9-2).
"I'm just worried about us," Staley said.
Senior guard Ashley Morris, as she has been all season, was the Temple scoring leader with 15 points and was the only Owl to total double digits.
On the Rutgers side, the continued absence of senior all-American candidate Essence Carson, who is resting a sore right foot, was overcome as sophomore guard Epiphanny Prince efficiently ran the offense and scored 20 points.
Senior Matee Ajavon, another all-American candidate, added luster to the backcourt attack with 14 points.
Kia Vaughn scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the post. At times she was teamed with sophomore center Rashidat Junaid, a Camden Catholic graduate who had six points and eight rebounds.
The only blemish for Rutgers occurred late in the game when sophomore Khadijah Rushdan of Wilmington went to the bench with an undetermined knee injury, pending further examination.