By Matthew Aquino, OwlSports Update
It was a collaborative effort Sunday afternoon as the Owls had five players score in double digits. Temple men’s basketball (16-10, 9-6) beat Tulane University (12-13, 9-7) 75-70 moving the Owls into the number four seed in conference, currently giving them a crucial first-round bye in the upcoming AAC tournament.
The Green Wave started the game on an 8-0 run, but Temple got a lift from Zach Hicks off the bench early. Hicks scored 15 points and shot 50 percent from downtown that included adding a four-point play early in the first half to cut the lead. The Owls shot 42 percent from beyond the arc and 44 percent for the game.
“His shot-making ability energizes our guys, it energizes the crowd, and I like him in that role,” said head coach Aaron Mckie. “I like him in that role, coming off the bench and letting it fly.”
The Owls came out on fire in the second half with an 8-0 run behind freshmen guards Hysier Miller and Jahlil White giving Temple a 37-31 lead.
Tulane was not to be denied and kept the game close by forcing turnovers and getting to the free throw line consistently. The Green Wave forced the Owls into 21 turnovers and scored 22 points off of those miscues. Tulane shot 84 percent from the stripe and attempted 32 free throws.
“We played hard but we didn’t play smart,” said Mckie.
Despite sloppy play and poor shooting from the line, the Owls were able to overcome their miscues with solid defense and rebounding.
The Owls outrebounded Tulane 45-28 and had 12 offensive rebounds. White chipped in with a career-high 12 boards, posting his second double double of the season.
“My coaches want me to go out and rebound and defend my ass off every game so I feel like that's what I've been trying to do all season and I'm doing my best,” said White.
After struggling to find his shooting stroke against Memphis and Cincinnati in the past two games, Damian Dunn was able to break out and led the Owls with 19 points.
“You know, just keep attacking and not really get too down on myself, just knowing that those little slumps or whatever you call them don't last forever,” said Dunn.
Dunn came up big late in the game when he drove in the lane and got fouled while converting a layup to increase the Owls lead to 71-66 with 40 seconds remaining.
The win splits the season series between the teams but there is a chance that the Owls could end up playing the Green Wave in the AAC tournament.
“Same exact game plan, slow them down from three, make smart decisions on offense, and just defend,” said White on a potential third matchup with Tulane.
The Owls now sit at fourth place in the AAC standings and will try to continue the momentum when they travel to Texas on Thursday to take on the number one team in the conference, the Houston Cougars (24-4, 13-2).
Miles Bailey, OwlSports Update
The Temple women’s basketball team (12-12, 7-6) dropped another lopsided game on Wednesday night at Houston, 80-60. This is the second-straight game where Temple has fallen by 20 or more points.
The Owls got off to a rough start, as Houston had managed to take a 17-10 lead at one point during the first quarter. After that, the Owls were able to draw closer and actually tied the game at 23 midway through the second quarter. A three-pointer by Caranda Perea gave the Owls their first lead since taking a 1-0 lead to start the game.
Houston was able to go on a 5-0 run to take back the lead with only 1:02 remaining in the half, and this led to a 33-29 halftime lead for the Cougars.
Turnovers were once again a big problem for the Owls as they committed 24 on the night, compared to Houston’s 14. Temple’s leading scorer Mia Davis also sat out for a long period of time during the second quarter because she had already committed two personal fouls.
The game got out of hand in the third when Houston went on an 8-0 run to take a 43-31. The Owls did not score a basket until the 5:47 mark of the 3rd quarter when Davis laid in two of her team-high 24.
The Owls defense was very suspect, as they let Houston convert 52 percent of its field goal attempts and 50 percent from three-point range.
The Owls are back at McGonigle Hall, as they will take on the Tulane Green Wave on Saturday at noon. Tulane is one of the best teams in the American Athletic Conference, riding an eight-game win streak. They are 10-4 against conference opponents and 20-7 overall.
By Matthew Aquino, OwlSports Update
It started bad and never really got any better. Temple University women’s basketball (12-11, 7-5) fell to the University of Central Florida (20-3, 12-1) by a score of 68-31 on Saturday afternoon.
The 37-point loss is the most lopsided of the season for Temple. The Owls could not muster up any offense for the entire game, scoring below double digits in every quarter and turning the ball over 21 times.
“That's not the type of product I want to put on the floor, and we just weren’t good on any fronts today,” said head coach Tonya Cardoza.
The Knights pressing defense stifled the Owls all game, limiting them to just 21 percent from the field and 1-12 from downtown. The Owls leading scorer, Mia Davis, struggled the entire game, scoring just one point, her lowest total since her freshman year.
“They basically didn’t let you find her and whenever she caught the ball there was a second person there so anything she tried to do was going to be forced,” Cardoza said.
Coming out of halftime the Owls showed some life when freshman forwards Kyra Wood and Caranda Perea made back-to-back shots, but the Knights quickly responded with a 9-0 run and took a commanding 37-18 lead.
“We didn’t give ourselves a chance because we turned the basketball over, we didn’t give ourselves a chance because we allowed them to get easy opportunities,” Cardoza said.
UCF shot 45 percent for the game and 45 percent from beyond the arc. The Owls were unable to stop junior guard Alisha Lewis, who was 4-5 for three for the game.
The Knights have now won both meetings against the Owls this season, beating them in Orlando by nine points on Jan. 31.
After starting the last four games and leading the Owls in scoring with seven points Saturday afternoon coach Cardoza said Kyra Wood will continue to start for the Owls and added that she has been playing well and is disciplined.
Cardoza was disappointed at how the Owls started the game and thought they didn’t show any fight.
“I don’t think we showed up to fight, I felt like we rolled over right pretty much from the first quarter,” Cardoza said.
The Owls will look to bounce back on the road Wednesday when they take on Houston (12-12).
Miles Bailey, OwlSports Update
Two of the Owls best scorers in Jeremiah Williams and Damian Dunn were on the bench nursing injuries Wednesday night. Without those two players, the Owls (14-9, 7-5) still managed to beat the American Athletic Conference’s second-best team in the SMU Mustangs by a final score of 64-57.
The star of the night goes to guard Tai Strickland, who led the team with a career-high 27 points, including some key free throws to ultimately seal the win.
“Like I said, many guys can step up. We have great guys,” Strickland said when asked about being the team’s leading scorer in the game. “The driving lanes were open, and that’s kinda what I do best. I can get in gaps, create contact, get to the free throw line, and get a bucket.”
While this win was certainly unexpected, it came with its fair share of struggles as Temple played from behind almost the entire game. It forced the team to make some adjustments which ultimately turned the tide of the game.
“We hang our hat on defense. So, eventually, they were just scoring on us. So, late in the game, we got to put our foot down and get stops, and I feel like that’s what we did,” Jahlil White said. SMU shot just 38 percent from the field.
Even with the absences of Williams and Dunn, the team’s game plan leading up to the game didn’t change.
“No, not at all. It wasn’t different one bit. We just defend, and have fun on offense, and share the ball. That’s our game plan,” White said.
This was a statement win not only for the team, but for Coach Aaron McKie’s coaching career here at Temple, and it will go down as one of the marquee victories during his coaching tenure.
“It’s certainly up there. You take into consideration the circumstances that we’re under. It’s a good win versus a good team. They were underhanded tonight, so were we”, McKie said.
A real strength of this team has been its ability to lock in during the final stretch of games. The Owls ended the game on a 22-7 run to put it away.
“Just collective, having these guys in the summer. Talking them through, we do situations. Whether you guys, believe it or not, we shoot a lot of free throws at the end of practice with the music on with the music off. Sometimes you see the results in a good way, sometimes you don’t, but we do practice all of those things,” McKie said.
The Owls will hit the road for their next two games, as they will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats on Friday at 2pm. Cincinnati is on a two-game losing streak. They have a 6-6 record against conference opponents and are 16-9 record overall.
By Matthew Aquino, OwlSports Update
Temple lacrosse comes into the 2022 season with high expectations.
After finishing 13-6 last spring and winning their first NCAA tournament game in over a decade, the Owls are looking to build on that success. It’s just another step in the right direction for a team that was five games under .500 just three years ago.
Coach Bonnie Rosen, who has coached the team for 15 years, couldn't have asked for a more successful season in 2021. She noted that this year’s team is a lot younger and still searching for its identity.
“This is a new team, it's a new season so we’re really starting where we are today and that's kind of what we do,” said Rosen. “We take things step by step each day.”
After losing two of its three top scorers in Bridget Whittaker and Meghan Hoffman to graduation, the team will look to the current roster and newcomers to help fill the void.
The Owls have added five freshmen and three transfers to the roster. Preseason AAC Midfielder of the Year Belle Mastropietro will look to duplicate her success from 2021. She scored 43 goals and added 12 assists.
Mastropietro believes the team is focused and can get back to the NCAA tournament this year.
“I think this season so far we focused a lot offensively, defensively just on a lot of different things that we need to do well to win,” Mastropietro said.
Losing players in 2021 opens the door for new leaders in 2022. Senior defender Nina has emerged ready to take on that role.
“I absolutely feel like a leader of this team,” said Heyn. “It’s definitely hard to step in a role like that, especially when it's all your friends. It’s kind of awkward to have to correct your friends and stuff but at the end of the day there is a lot of mutual respect between us and you know we love each other so it’s turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be.”
Not only have the Owls added leaders on the field but also on the sideline. Former Villanova attacker Liz Trojan is the newest assistant coach.
During her time at Villanova, Trojan scored more than 100 goals and had 23 assists. She suffered a career-ending injury at the start of the 2021 season and has now made the transition to coach full time.
“She’s great, you know she really came in and just became a very essential asset to our team,” said Heyn. “She's very vocal which I can appreciate, she has no problem speaking up and telling us what we need to do.”
No. 22 Temple will start the journey to the NCAA tournament at Howarth Field on Saturday when the Owls host their first-ever meeting with the Army Black Knights.
By Jesse Dimich-Louvet - OwlSports Update
In their third outing of the season, the Temple Owls claimed their first win against a less experienced team in St. Francis Brooklyn College this past weekend at UPenn.
Junior Marin Delmas and Senior Louis Gorregues dropped the opening doubles leg 6-1 before Leo Raquin and Thibault Frumholz won their match 6-4 to tie proceedings. All eyes turned to Gregoire Barety and Jericho Grollman as they played in a thrilling deciding tiebreak to determine the doubles point. After squandering match point at 6-5 because of Barety’s netted return, St Francis took the opening and to win the tiebreaker and grab the double point 9-7.
“We started slow for some reason,'' Coach Steve Mauro said.
However, the Owls were able to bounce back quickly and were all business in singles with Delmas, Raquin, and Barety earning quick victories to put the Owls ahead 3-1. Moments later, Gorregues clinched victory with an epic 6-1 7-6 win, putting the Owls at an insurmountable 4-1 lead. Shortly after, Frumholz and freshmen Hussein El Tawil rounded out a flawless singles showing from the Owls, claiming respective wins. Temple ended the evening with a 6-1 performance over St. Francis Brooklyn. “Everyone fought hard and I am happy with the effort, especially the way the guys outworked them in singles,” Mauro said.
The Owls will enjoy a three-week break before facing Siena College on Feb 25th, at the Cherry Hill Racquet Club in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Owls will look to build off of this win as they head into the busier part of their schedule that starts in late February and run mid-April.
The Owls playing in their home away from home were in a hurry handing St. Francis Brooklyn a ruthless 7-0 defeat on Saturday at UPenn. It was the Owls first win of the season, following a disappointing opening-day loss to VCU two weeks ago.
Although the Owls were testing out some new doubles pairs, they were the far more experienced team from the onset. Temple could not have asked for a better start against the Terriers, as they did not lose a single game in any of their three doubles matches. That equaled winning 18-straight games in about 30 minutes of play. Though Coach Steve Mauro, in true head coaching form, was not letting the lopsided victory deter his vision, “The doubles still needs work,” he said.
The Owls picked up right where they left off in singles with Czech freshman Veronika Kulhava dominating Russian Ekaterina Bremel 6-0, 6-1. Senior Jamie Wie eased past Spain's Angelica Karlsson 6-1, 6-1, while her sister, Evie, did one better by not dropping a single game. India’s Vineetha Mummadi, Japan’s Sena Takebe, and China’s Yinig Tian were all victorious as well.
Over the six singles matches, the Owls dropped six games in total, a rare feat. The contest was all wrapped up in under 90 minutes, which impressed Coach Mauro, “We have been working a lot on consistency and that paid off today.”
With this win, the Owls moved to 2-0 all-time against the Terriers, with their last win coming in 2014.
The Owls will have some time off before returning to action on Saturday, February 19 to take on city rival Villanova. The match is set for 7 p.m. and will be played back at the Hecht Tennis Center on the campus of UPenn.
After a dominant first two quarters, it looked as though the Owls (11-9, 6-3) were on their way to a second-straight beatdown of their opponent. But there are four quarters in women’s college basketball, and the third and fourth quarters were not kind to Temple on Sunday as the Owls barely avoided an epic collapse to beat the ECU Pirates, 60-59.
Down by 17 in the 3rd quarter, ECU transitioned from a passive defensive scheme to more of an aggressive scheme with a full-court press, which was the main reason for Temple’s 18 turnovers.
“They picked up the intensity in the 2nd half and started being a little more aggressive and started pressing us,” said Head Coach Tonya Cardoza.
But there was more good than bad, and it starts with Kyra Wood, who started in place of an injured Alexa Williamson. Wood scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Cardoza was asked about whether or not Wood will play a large role in the near future with Williamson out. “Yeah, and even if Alexa isn’t out I feel like Kyra over the last couple of weeks has definitely caught my eye in game experience, because I’m putting her out there. I trust that she’s going to go out there and give 110 percent every single day.”
Other top performers were Mia Davis, who led the Owls with 22 points, and Aniya Gourdine who had a career-high ten assists in Sunday’s win as part of her triple double. The freshman also had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Gourdine was asked about her unselfishness and willingness as a passer, she said, “In my opinion, a point guard is supposed to set up their teammates. Find my teammates first. Sometimes my coaches say that I should look for my offense more, but it’s just for me looking for my teammates first. I like to see them do good. It feels good. With me it’s not really intentional. I just try and do all the little things.”
The Owls next game will be back at McGonigle Hall, as they take on the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday at 7pm. This will be a huge test for Temple, as South Florida has won four of its last five games and are 16-6 on the year.
After a two-game road trip, the Temple Owls returned to the Liacouras Center on Saturday and stayed hot in a close win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Temple’s 67-58 win is its sixth in its last seven games dating back to early January.
But it wasn’t easy. Heading into halftime, the Owls had a comfortable 32-21 lead. It looked as though everything was going their way until Tulsa came roaring back during the middle of the 2nd half, eventually tying the game at 52-52 with 3:48 left in the game.
Coach Aaron McKie was asked about the blown lead, “We got comfortable. We got a nice lead. We had a nice flow. I thought it was one of our better halves of the year. It wasn’t great by no means, by no standards, but one of our better halves.”
Defense was the key down the stretch, as it was for most of the game. Temple forced 16 turnovers - eight in each half.
McKie was asked about the team’s aggressiveness on that end of the floor, he said, “We started to get a little slow. I thought (Tulsa) got off to a good start. The start that I didn’t want them to have, especially being on the road, and that’s an experienced team. We threw some full-court pressure in against those guys, and we got a few turnovers.”
Nick Jourdain has etched out a spot as one of the team’s key role-players throughout the season, as he did during Saturday’s game with a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with his game-high 15 points.
Multiple other Owls managed to score in double digits, including Jeremiah Williams and Zach Hicks who each scored t13, along with Damian Dunn’s 11.
With two wins in a row, the Owls take sole possession of 3rd place in the American Athletic Conference at 6-3 with an overall record of 13-7. Up next, another road trip to Tampa Bay to take on the South Florida Bulls on Monday at 7pm. South Florida is on a current four-game losing streak. They have a 1-7 record against the American and a 6-14 record overall.
By Miles Bailey - OwlSports Update
The Temple women’s basketball team found a good time to break its two-game losing streak. The Owls (10-9, 5-3) ran past Wichita State on Wednesday night, 70-49, as Mia Davis became the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Davis was asked about her accomplishment and the feeling of it, she says, “Of course it’s a great feeling. Like I said before, I just want to thank my teammates and coaches for putting me in a position.”
Prior to the game, all of the focus was shifted toward Davis, as she came into the game needing just five points for the record of 2,194.
“Actually I just came in the game with an open mind,” she said. “I wasn’t like thinking about this because I know how it can be a lot of pressure on you.”
Davis’ development as a player from her first ever season at Temple to Wednesday night’s record-setting performance has been truly spectacular.
Coach Cardoza was asked about her development, she said, “Every year Mia comes in and tries to work on something different, but every year it’s the same. It’s ‘I am gonna come in here and do whatever is asked of me. I’m gonna play whatever position you need me to play. I’m gonna do whatever my team needs for us to be successful.’”
Davis finished the game with a game-high 18 points.
The only other Owl to score in double figures was Caranda Perea. She had played limited minutes earlier in the season. But she is now one of the team’s more reliable players to come off the bench.
Cardoza was asked about Perea’s development, she said, “Caranda can really shoot the basketball. She is the best shooter on our team, and the other day I said to her like that there are so many games where she’s passive, and just like today that’s what she needs to do.”
What really stood out was the Owls defense, as they forced 19 turnovers, which became a huge factor in this dominating performance.
“We knew that we had to be disruptive, and that’s part of our MO right now,” said Cardoza. “When you look around in our conference, most of the teams in our conference play zone. We're probably one of the only teams that literally play man-to-man.”
The only negative to come away from this game was when Alexa Williamson was carted off the court in the first half. There was no injury update after the game.
The Owls next game is back at McGonigle Hall on Sunday at 12pm, as Temple takes on the ECU Pirates. The Pirates are 8-12 and are currently riding a three-game losing streak.