Temple's Tonya Cardoza gave her basketball team off from practice on Friday and nobody was complaining, including the coach.
The Owls put in plenty of extra time Thursday night before losing an epic five-overtime, 100-97 classic in an American Athletic Conference game at Memphis. It tied Drexel's 98-90 win over Northeastern in 2007 as the longest in NCAA Division I women's basketball history. The 197 points were the most in Temple program history
"I am exhausted," Cardoza said Friday. Imagine how the players felt, especially 5-foot-7 junior Feyonda Fitzgerald, who played 62 minutes and scored a team-high 26 points.
Fitzgerald fouled out with one second left in the fifth overtime. She was the fifth Owl to foul out. Memphis had two players foul out.
Sophomore guard Alliya Butts (of Holy Cross High in Delran) had 19 points for Temple, while sophomore Donnaizha Fountain added 17 and sophomore Tanaya Atkinson added 15 points and 20 rebounds.
Memphis was led by 6-1 senior Brianna Wright, who scored 35 points.
"At one point I didn't know how many overtimes we had played," Cardoza said.
Years from now, this may be special for Cardoza and the players, but not now. All the veteran coach knows is that the loss dropped Temple to 17-9 overall and 11-4 in the AAC.
"It doesn't feel special right now," Cardoza said. "I am still a little sour about the loss."