SALT LAKE CITY —Temple standout Qwedia Wallace got off to a rough start in her team's NCAA Tournament first round game against No. 7 Arizona State.
The 5-foot-9 senior missed three consecutive shots to start the game and didn't make a field goal until there was 8:30 left in the first half. Fortunately for the No. 10 Owls, Wallace's teammates were able to pick up the slack, and Temple upset the Sun Devils 63-45 at the Huntsman Center on Saturday afternoon.
Arizona State (20-11) got off to a quick start, leading 5-0 in the opening two minutes, before the Owls (24-8) bounced right back to go ahead 8-7 with 13:07 left in the first.
"We were definitely nervous," Temple's Shey Peddy said of the slower start. "But once the timeout came, coach told everyone to breathe and relax. We hit a few shots and were just able to play out game."
The Sun Devils finally scored again at the 11-minute mark after a six-minute drought to retake a one-point lead, but Peddy scored a layup on the next play, giving the Owls a lead they would never relinquish.
Temple took the game over by holding the Sun Devils scoreless for chunks of time throughout the first half. Along with the 6-0 run that allowed the Owls to take the lead, Temple added 10 consecutive points over a five minute stretch just before intermission. The team took an 11-point advantage into halftime and never looked back.
The key for Temple throughout the contest was a suffocating defense. The Owls held Arizona State guard Dymond Simon to just five points —nine points short of her average—and held the team to 20 points on 26.7 percent shooting in the first half. The Sun Devils shot just 30.9 percent for the game.
"After watching film and listening to all of the analysts and everyone saying that (Arizona State) wasn't a good 3-point shooting team, we decided to play zone defense," said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza. "It isn't something we like to do, but we tried to play as much zone as we possibly could."
The Owls, on the other hand, shot 45.8 percent and were led by the all-around play of Peddy, a 5-foot-7 junior, recorded 10 points, seven rebounds and six steals to lead the Owls. It was her fourth game with as many steals and she has 101 takeaways on the season, a Temple team record.
"I was trying to be as aggressive as I could," Peddy said. "I know it started with defense. If I could put pressure on the guards and force them to turn the ball over, then it would be an easy basket for us."
Victoria Macaulay, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, and Kristen McCarthy, a junior forward, scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, and Wallace finished with eight.
Junior Kimberly Brandon led the Sun Devils with 11 points and six rebounds, while 6-foot-5 forward Becca Tobin put in 10 points and grabbed eight boards.
With the win—the Owls' first ever victory over Arizona State —Temple advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, but for just the fifth time in school history. It will now meet Notre Dame for the first time this season on Monday at the Huntsman Center at 7:30 p.m.
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