February 10, 2021 –
The Temple Owls hosted the Houston Cougars in a game where the winner would occupy one of the top four spots in the American Athletic Conference standings. Houston got off to a fast start and used team speed to cruise to an 89 – 52 win over Temple. Houston ties Tulane for third place in the American while the Cherry and White are in fifth place.
The speed factor propelled the Cougars offense and throttled the Owls on both ends of the floor. Quickness caused turnovers. Temple had 26 of them that led to a 40 – 12 advantage for Houston in points off turnovers. The miscues had an adverse affect on the Owls who had to play from behind and were on their heels.
“Even beyond the turnovers, but I was most disappointed in how we responded” said Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza. “As a whole we just shut down. It was like here we go again, we’re turning the ball over instead of banding together and focusing more on getting stops. It was like we were still worried about what happened on the previous play instead of regaining composure and focusing more on getting stops.”
On offense the ball moved quickly inside and outside which led to open shots from beyond the three-point line. The Cougars made 11 of 25 from deep led by Britney Onyeje who had 5 made three-pointers. The Owls converted only one triple from Jasha Clinton. The edge from three-point land was 33 – 3. Tough to overcome that edge.
“We didn’t do a good job of keeping them in front of us,” Cardoza said. “Then we tried to go zone. Same thing. we’re not paying attention and giving guys wide open threes.”
For the Cougars Onyeje led the way with 19 points, one of four players in double figures. Laila Blair had a career-high 19 points against Temple the first time they played, an 80 – 46 win for the Cougars. She scored 18 in this game. Miya Crump and Dymond Gladney scored 13 apiece. As a team UH made 31 of 61 attempts from the floor.
Alexa Williamson had a team-high in points and rebounds getting 19 and 8. Mia Davis was made 7 of 19 field goals on her way to 17 points. Clinton scored 10 points.
The 89 points scored by Houston is the most allowed in a conference game by Temple, and 37-point differential is the largest incurred in a league game. After each large loss the Owls have bounced back. The team is confident they will recover again if they just don’t rush.
“Slow the ball down,” said Williamson. “We can run the clock down and look for a better shot. Sometimes I feel we are in such a hurry that we throw stuff up.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian