PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/6/2018 – The Temple Owls returned home to McGonigle Hall hoping to end a five-game losing streak. The opponent was the Iona Gaels who dropped their last three games. The last two losses for the Owls came against nationally ranked teams. A trip home gave the Cherry and White a win defeating Iona 59 – 39 behind 25 points by forward Mia Davis who added 14 rebounds, a season-high.
The Owls started quickly and went out to an 11 – 0 lead in the first eight minutes, and lead the entire game. Getting the early advantage was important.
“It gave us a little momentum,” Davis said about the start. “For us gaining the lead gave us momentum.”
Neither team shot the ball particularly well. The Owls were 22 of 56 from the floor (39.3%), and 3 of 15 form beyond the arc. Also, the Cherry and White made 24 turnovers, the most committed this season. The Gaels turned the ball over 29 times which led to 29 points for the Owls. The performance left Coach Tonya Cardoza a bit surprised after good games at Miami and DePaul.
“I am happy we found a way to get a win, but we could have done a better job in a lot of areas,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “This game wasn’t anything like our last two where we played with more passion and energy.”
No other Temple player broke double figures. Freshman guard Marissa Mackins and graduate guard Alliya Butts scored 9 points each. The Owls had a 43 – 27 advantage off the boards.
“We had more talent,” Cardoza said. “We had Mia who could go out and get you a double-double. We had Marissa stepping up and playing well.”
Iona has experienced difficulty in scoring averaging under 43 points per game. Their largest offensive output was 52 points in their win over George Washington. Gaels leading scorer Morgan Rachu was held to 8 points, the only time this season she did not reach double figures.
“We really wanted to take away Morgan (Rachu), she averages 15 points per game,” said Cardoza. “We were focused on her and making other guys shoot the ball.”
Temple improves to 2 – 7 and returns to Big Five action on Sunday at Villanova.
Written By: Glenn Papazian