PHILADELPHIA - On a day when most of the members of the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team struggled on the offensive end, junior Jerin Smith had a career day with more than half of Penn's points in a 55-31 loss to Temple at McGonigle Hall Saturday afternoon.
Temple (14-5, 2-1 Big 5) scored on its first possession, but took three more minutes to score again. Unfortunately at that point,the Quakers were still looking for their first basket. When sophomore Jourdan Banks hit a free throw at the 14:45 mark, the Owls led at 8-1, and by the time the Red and Blue got their first bucket - an eight-foot jumper from senior Amy Donovan - the Owls led 14-3 seven minutes into the contest.
Temple went up by 15 on several occassions in the first half, but when Smith grabbed an offensive rebound and layed in the put back with 6:48 remaining until intermission, Penn (1-14, 0-4 Big 5) was down just 24-13. When Smith repeated the feat with 3:25 to go, Penn was down only 10, 25-15.
Then, after forcing a turnover, freshman Rebecca Lau floated in another bucket for the Quakers to pull within 25-17. But Temple scored seven of the half's last nine points for a 32-19 edge at intermission.
The second half began much like the first as Penn struggled on the offensive end. But so did the Owls. Six minutes into the second half, each team had just one basket.
Temple broke the scoring slump with a three to gain its largest lead to that point at 37-21. However, after Smith hit a jumper from the top of the key, the Owls scored eight straight and led 45-23 with 8:29 to go.
Meanwhile, the Red and Blue were still having trouble finding the bottom of the basket. Penn had just 12 second-half points and Temple led by as many as 24 points, including the final margin.
The Quakers were 0-for-13 from three-point range - the first time Penn had gone without a three in a game since Feb. 20, 2009 at Dartmouth (a span of 21 games). Overall, the Red and Blue were just 12-of-48 (25%) from the floor, while the Owls were 23-for-56 (41.1%).
In addition to her career-high 16 points, Smith led the team with six rebounds. Junior Caroline Nicholson matched a career best with a team-high three blocks. Senior Sarah Bucar added six points and five rebounds.
Penn will look to make a splash off the court on Monday night at the men's basketball game against Saint Joseph's. In a shared effort with the men's team, the Quakers will be collecting shoes for Penn's Hoops for Haiti initiative. Fans are encouraged to bring an old pair of shoes to the game to be donated to those in need in Haiti.
Up next on the court the Quakers is the first of the six Ivy weekends. The first two league opponents coming to The Palestra are Yale and Brown on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.