PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/22/19 – The Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University came into McGonigle Hall. The Eagles played fast, made three-point shots, and created turnovers that led to fast breaks. It was a hard combination for the Temple Owls to withstand and led to a 93 – 67 win for Florida Gulf Coast.
“We knew they were a really good team and they could beat you in a lot of different ways,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “On both sides of the floor they dominated us and made it difficult to defend, and difficult for us to score. If we focused a little better and took care of the basketball, maybe the score would have been a little closer. They’re a great team, the way they play and their system.”
The way FGCU played would remind a basketball fan of the the Eagles men’s team a few years ago that went to the Sweet 16. They took and made shots from beyond the arc; 47 attempts for the game and 19 that went in, the highest percentage of the season. Played uptempo as Temple turned over 15 times that led to 21 points off turnovers and 19 fast break points. The Owls made 6 of 22 from distance, 25 of 60 overall for 37.5%. The Eagles made 42.7% from the floor (32 of 75), nearly half of their shots in the first half. FGCU played their style of basketball and won the game.
At the start of the third quarter the Cherry and White cut into a 25-point deficit as behind a run of baskets by Marisa Mackins, who scored a team-high 19 points, and Mia Davis who added 16. The Owls picked up the pace and played with the Eagles for that stretch of time.
“Halftime was a regroup for us,” said Mackins. “We came out and started pushing the ball a little more. That was what we definitely needed to do throughout the whole game. Pushing the ball gave us our boost.”
But Florida Gulf Coast responded with five three’s of their own to take control of the game after three quarters of play. That response would be too difficult for Temple to overcome who did not get stops.
“They have guys on the floor who can do everything, beat you off the dribble and make threes, and they are really quick,” Cardoza said. “A lot of it falls on us as we were not doing the things we should to defend against them.”
Ashley Jones returned to the floor for the Cherry and White after missing the past two games, and scored 16 points. Lena Niang added 14 points. Davis took down a game-high 13 rebounds, the eighth time this season she has totaled double-digits off the boards. This was the eighth double-double this season, including the last four games, for the junior forward and the 25th in her career.
Florida Gulf Coast University (12 – 2) had four players score in double figures. Davion Wingate scored a season-best 31 points making 10 of 15 field goal attempts, and 6 of 8 from three-point land. Keri Jewett-Giles scored 20 points and added 9 assists, a season-high. Nasrin Ulel scored 16 points and Kerstie Phills added 11. Tytionia Adderly stole the ball 6 times to set a career-mark, and had a team-high 9 caroms. The Eagles are 4 – 0 against teams in the American.
The Owls (6 – 6) play the La Salle Explorers on December 30th in Big Five action. That road trip will take the Cherry and White to 20th and Olney.
Written By: Glenn Papazian