December 4, 2020 –
For college basketball in the year 2020 expect the unexpected. The Villanova Wildcats were expecting to play their Big East opener, and Temple did not expect to start their season until Sunday. But with openings on the schedule the local rivals agreed to play each other. Villanova was playing their third game of the season and it showed that Temple was just starting the season. The Wildcats earned a 90 – 72 win at Pearson & McGonigle Hall.
For the Owls there was a sense of excitement that they finally got to take the floor.
“We were definitely excited,” said Davis. “I feel that over the past weeks we were working hard , giving effort, coming in practice ready, so there was a lot of excitement.”
This game featured two of the better players in the city with Maddy Siegrist and Mia Davis on the court. Davis led the Owls with 22 points and took down a team-high tying 7 rebounds. Siegrist had another double-double for Nova with a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. She made 9 of 16 from the floor and 4 rebounds were off the offense glass.
Villanova also got 22 points from Brianna Herlihy and Sarah Mortensen contributed 18 points and pulled down 9 boards.
The Owls had two other players score in double figures. Freshman Jasha Clinton scored 16 points and Jada Graves, a graduate student, posted 11 points.
But it was the ability of the Wildcats to turn Owls miscues into points that made the difference. While Nova had more more turnovers they took advantage of the mistakes made by the Cherry and White getting a huge advantage in points off turnovers and an edge in fast break points.
“We were playing a little too fast, but I want us to play fast,” said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza. “It’s the first time out with a lot of young guys that haven’t played a lot of basketball for us. Because we want to play fast and get out an go there are going to be sloppy possessions and games by turning the ball over. We have to make sure we are paying attention and not having unnecessary turnovers that lead to easy buckets.”
Villanova is 3 – 0 on the season. Their Big East curtain raiser is scheduled for Sunday against St. John’s. Temple has their next game set for Sunday a road game against Florida Gulf Coast University. That is as of now. This game was not an official Big Five game.
It has been a rocky preseason for the Owls. Now that the season started there will be more to see from the Cherry and White.
“The first few games that we will play over the course of December is about learning and paying attention and what is going to help us at the end,” Cardoza said. “Right now we are trying to find a good group that will go out there and compete. It will take a little bit of time to understand each other and figure out how to play. I know come January we will be a better team than we are today.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian