Owls sweep three-game series
PHILADELPHIA -- Christena Hamilton scored 14 points and sank a late free throw to lead Temple to a 53-48 victory in the Atlantic 10 championship game Monday.
Tournament MVP Candice Dupree grabbed 11 rebounds for the Owls (21-9), who closed the regular season by winning 10 of their last 11 games.
Stephanie Graff had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Hawks (20-10), who had won five straight after knocking off top-seeded George Washington in the semifinals. Irina Krasnoshiok added 10 points.
Temple's Cynthia Jordan made a 3-pointer and Toni Belafonte hit a free throw and a short jumper to put the Owls ahead 31-21 early in the second half. The lead was cut to five before Temple went on a 12-1 run capped by a layup from Dupree with 7:29 remaining.
Saint Joseph's pulled within four with a late 14-2 run and cut the lead to two when Erin Brady, who shot just 1-for-10, made a wide-open layup with 32.3 seconds to play. Hamilton then made one of two free throws -- giving the Hawks a chance for a tie -- but a 3-pointer from Krasnoshiok fell short. Ari Moore sank a pair of foul shots at the other end to put the game out of reach.
The Owls swept the three-game season series by a combined eight points and secured their third postseason berth in coach Dawn Staley's four-year tenure after an 11-year drought prior to Staley's arrival in 2000-01.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press