PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/8/2019 – The Temple Owls improved to 2 – 0 in the new season defeating an experienced Duquesne Dukes team 85 – 72 at McGonigle Hall. The victory was important for the Owls as they got contributions from many players.
The Cherry and White gave a good offensive effort. Forward Mia Davis led the way scoring a game-high 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year and her 14th overall. In addition to Davis, guard Marissa Mackins had 18 points making 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Guard Ashley Jones contributed 13 points, and matched her career-high in assists at 9.
“We needed to get Mia more involved,” Cardoza said about what made the offense effective. “We started to put in offense with a lot of movement. I didn’t think they could defend us off the bounce.”
The offense did a a bit of everything. They made three-pointers, 11 overall, got out on the break, rebounded the basketball, and shared the ball which can make Davis even more effective.
“It makes me effective and I can get my team going,” said Davis.
Freshman guard Asonah Alexander set a career-high in assists handing out 8, one better than her performance at Fairfield. Overall, Temple dished out 21 assists on 32 made field goals nearly making half of their shots.
“That’s one of our pluses this year,” said Cardoza about getting assists. “We have so many guys that can score and we have unselfish players willing to give up the basketball. We have many players who can get us 15-plus on any given night, and that makes us more dangerous.”
Off the glass in addition to Davis forward Alexa Williamson and Jones grabbed 6, tying another career-mark. Temple won the rebounding battle 41 – 28 with a 10 – 5 edge in offensive rebounds.
The game was close early on with the Owls taking a lead, then the Dukes charging back. The Cherry and White answered every charge. In the third quarter Duquesne pulled to within 48 – 47 with just over three and a half minutes left. Temple responded with a 19 – 3 run into the fourth quarter to take control. The run was capped by a three by Mackins and a traditional three-point play by Davis with 9:16 remaining. The Dukes pulled to within 10 at 69 – 59, but the Owls went on an 8 – 0 run highlighted by two from distance by Mackins and Lena Niang to end the suspense.
“If we keep it close and we focus and pay attention, we can now pull away, and that’s what happened for us today,” Cardoza said.
Duquesne got a team and career high 16 points from guard Libby Bazelak. Forward Laia Sole scored 14 points, but was limited to 3 points in the second half.
As the season progresses Temple will need to rely more on defense and not just outscore the opposition. Cardoza felt giving up 72 points was a bit much. The next opponent is a city rival, the Hawks of Saint Joseph’s at 54th and City Line on Monday,
“We have a game on Monday against Saint Joe’s, a Big Five game that is the most important game,” Cardoza said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian