December 23, 2020 –
This would be the second conference game of the season for Temple. The Owls got their initial win of the season in an American game against the SMU Mustangs on Sunday. If the teams should be on a winning streak let it be in conference.
Temple hosted the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in a matinee performance at McGonigle Hall, and a strong second half performance got the Owls a 69 – 52 victory, another in the American. In the latter twenty minutes the Owls scored and kept the Golden Hurricane from scoring. That added up to a 39 – 20 second half advantage.
“In the second half we did a better job of contesting more and not giving up open looks,” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “We got stops and were able to get out in transition.”
Credit the Temple bigs as the front court led by Alexa Williamson, who scored a career-high 20 points, and Mia Davis with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Collectively the duo made 16 of 21 from the floor as Temple shot 55% for the game.
This style of play can be advantageous for the Cherry and White.
“That’s our strength,” Cardoza said. “I don’t think a lot of people in our league can really guard the two of them together. One of them is going to have a mismatch in most games. If that is our strength we definitely have to take advantage of it.”
Davis became the sixth leading rebounder in program history passing Theresa Govens. The senior now has 854 boards. She moved up in the record book by grabbing a rebound at the 8:10 mark of the second quarter. But on a serious note, she left the floor with an injury after a scrum with just under 3 minutes left to play.
Also contributing for Temple was guard Asonah Alexander whose focused performance filled the stat sheet handing out a career-high tying 10 assists and pulled down 9 rebounds. Alexander made 2 of 6 from the floor scoring 6 points, just 4 points and a rebound shy of a triple-double, something she can do Cardoza believes.
“She is one of those kids that can get a triple-double because she is capable of all of those things,” Cardoza said about Alexander. “She wants to be a distributor more than a scorer, so we’re asking her to look to be aggressive and shoot the ball.”
Freshman guard Jasha Clinton scored 12 points.
On the minus side the Owls had 23 total turnovers allowing the Golden Hurricane to get 22 points off turnovers. Tulsa (1 – 2, 0 -2) had three players score in double-figures with Desiree Lewis getting 16. Maya Mayberry scored 15 and Rebecca Lescay had 10. As a team the Golden Hurricane made 29.7% (19 of 64), but in that second half they were limited to 7 of 32 for 21.9%.
Temple (2 – 3, 2 – 0) has a two game winning streak, both in the American. The Owls started out 0 – 3, but the tough non-conference schedule which featured a game at South Carolina, seems to be paying dividends.
“We knew those games were going to be tough, playing two on the road,” Cardoza said. “It gave us an opportunity to say there are a lot of things we can get better at and work. If we try to put these things together, we may be able to do something in the conference. To start off 2 – 0 before Christmas break is definitely a bonus.”
Temple takes a holiday break, then gears up for a December 30th game at Tulane.
Written By: Glenn Papazian