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.
By Jesse Dimich-Louvet, OwlSports Update
Temple battled, clawed, and rallied but to no avail. After three hours of grueling play, there was little to show for it. The Owls lost 6-1 against the UPenn Quakers at the Hecht Tennis Center in a fairly comprehensible fashion on Wednesday night.
Temple began by dropping all three of its doubles matches despite a pair of near comebacks from the number one and three pairings of Delmas/Gorregues and Grollman/Barety losing 7-5 and 6-4, respectively.
In singles, junior and Owls number one Marin Delmas was topped in a 6-4, 6-3 loss against Italian Edoardo Graziania. Leo Raquin was unable to do much more against German number two Jason Hildebrandt losing 6-2, 6-4. The Owls looked sluggish in the opening stanza of the singles.
“We need more energy moving into the singles as we started off a little slow.” Head Coach Steve Mauro said.
However, the clash of the night was a gritty affair between Gregoire Barety and Aditya Gupta. Following two one-sided sets 6-2 and 1-6, the match was destined to go the distance. With lung-busting rallies and Barety sliding on the hardcourt as if it were clay, the match had all the drama one could ask for. It was just not meant to be for the Owls. Barety lost a nail biter 7-5 in the third set, cementing UPenn's victory.
The lone Owls victory came from number five senior Louis Gorregues who claimed an impressive 7-6, 2-6, 10-8 win over Zach Smith. Senior Thibault Frumholz and newcomer Hussein El Tawil also fell in straight sets.
In his 17th year at the helm of the men’s and women’s programs, Coach Mauro was not overly upset with how the night went. “Look, they are a top 30 team, so we know it would be tough,” Mauro exclaimed. “The guys fought hard and we need to keep working hard to get better and be ready against Yale.”
That match against Yale was postponed on Friday thanks to the winter storm. Temple is back on the court at home on February 5th versus St. Francis College of Brooklyn.
Miles Bailey, OwlSports Update
In what is arguably its best win of the season, the Temple women’s basketball team clawed back from 15 points down to beat the Cincinnati Bearcats on Wednesday night, 68-64.
Despite the huge deficit at the beginning of the game, the Owls (9-7, 4-1) managed to make crucial adjustments on the fly.
“Just communicating on the defensive side,” said Head Coach Tonya Cardoza. “We were running around and doubling guys that we shouldn’t have been doubling, but more so because we weren’t communicating that we weren’t switching.”
The team’s role players contributed during the game, one being Caranda Perea, who had a season-high ten points, which included two three-pointers.
Perea was asked about the team’s defensive struggles during the beginning of the game, she said, “It just goes back to communication. We beat ourselves, and we know that. I don’t think Cincinnati did a lot for us, they didn’t really beat us in the first half. We were really beating ourselves, and we knew that.”
While these concerns are something that the Owls need to improve upon moving forward, the most important takeaway is that they won the game and it was a team effort all around. It’s Temple’s fourth win in five conference games, leaving them just a half-game out of first place in the American.
The Owls outscored Cincinnati 40-28 in the 2nd half. Mia Davis continues to be the team’s offensive spark plug, as she scored a team-high 22 points despite early foul trouble. She is now just 49 points away from the program scoring record.
Jasha Clinton was the team’s second-leading scorer with 14 points and Aniya Gourdine led the team in assists with seven.
The Owls will travel to Memphis to take on the Tigers on Saturday at 3pm. Memphis holds a record of 11-6, but the Tigers are 2-4 against conference opponents.
By Harrison Hope, OwlSports Update
The Temple women’s basketball team fell at South Florida Saturday afternoon, despite a career day for Mia Davis. The graduate forward scored 26 points, including a late layup to send the game into overtime, where Temple (8-7, 3-1) eventually fell, 75-67. The loss snaps the Owls three-game win streak.
The Owls took control in the first quarter scoring 16 points. The Bulls were outworked by the Owls, only having one offensive rebound as opposed to three from Davis alone. This helped the Owls end the first quarter on a 6-0 run and to a 16-11 lead.
Davis did fight foul trouble in the second quarter giving the Bull some momentum heading into the half. South Florida outscored Temple 14-8 in the second frame to take a halftime lead, 25-24.
In the third, Davis checked back into the game scoring some quick buckets. This, combined with Alexa Williamson’s three blocks, helped the Owls stay in this game, despite South Florida’s five-point lead at the end of three quarters, 45-40.
The Owls came out strong in the fourth, starting with an 8-0 run putting them up by 3. Davis scored ten points in this quarter, including a layup to tie the game at 59 with seven seconds to go and sending the game into overtime.
Overtime went to the home team, as the Bulls found too many opportunities in the paint, outscoring Temple 16-8. The Bulls move to 14-5 on the year.
Davis is now just 70 point shy of Temple’s program record for career points. The Owls are back home Wednesday against Cincinnati.
By Miles Bailey, OwlSports Update
It hasn’t been easy for the Temple women’s basketball team to get on the court in 2022. Five games on the schedule with three being postponed due to Covid-19 since January 1st. But when the Owls have found the court, they’ve been perfect. This includes beating a Houston team Saturday afternoon that had won six of its last seven before the trip to McGonigle Hall. With the 62-54 win, Temple is both 2-0 in January and in conference.
Owls Head Coach Tonya Cardoza was asked about the team’s perseverance through these trying times. “We came back from Christmas, and it was like we were idled for over two weeks,” she said. “But we just tried to stay focus, and focus on the things we really need to work on.”
Prior to this rash of postponements, there was a lot to work on. The Owls were 1-3 in the month of December.
“A little concerning, but we’ve been trying to go hard in practice,” said Cardoza. “You know, getting up and down. I know it’s not the same as a game, but for us, it was probably good because guys get to rest their bodies or their ailments.”
And now, the Owls (7-6, 2-0) are rolling with a record above 500 for the first time in more than a month. Forward Mia Davis continues to be the team’s offensive spark plug, as she scored a team-high 22 points in the win over the Cougars (9-7, 2-2).
When asked about Mia's impact, Cardoza said, “I mean she is a leader on and off the court. Obviously, she is our go-to player. She knows that she is our go-to player, but she is one of the most unselfish people that you’ll ever be around.”
Davis did a lot of the heavy lifting scoring-wise, but multiple players contributed to the team’s win. Forward Alexa Williamson contributed with ten points and a game-high three blocks, and guard Aniya Gourdine scored eight points and had a game-high six assists.
And there was also the defensive effort. Houston made just one of its 13 shots from beyond the arc and shot 31 percent from the field overall.
The Owls hit the road for this Wednesday's game at East Carolina University. The Pirates have a current record of 7-9 and are riding a three-game losing streak.
By Miles Bailey, OwlSports Update
The Temple Owls defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane by a final score of 69-64 on Wednesday night. With the win, they improve their record to 10-6 and extend their current win streak to three games.
It will forever be a memorable night for forward Nick Jourdain, as it was his mother’s birthday.
“My mom told me before this game, it’s her birthday today, she was telling me that all she wants for her birthday is for me to break my career-high,” said Jourdain.
And he did exactly that. The redshirt freshman scored a career-high 23 points. He also contributed to the stat sheet with five rebounds and three blocks.
When asked about his progression as a player, he said, “These coaches and my teammates, everyone is constantly instilling confidence in me. They’ve been telling me. I’ve been doing this since the summer, I’ve put the work in, and I just need to put it into action.”
Through hard work and dedication, Jourdain has earned a great amount of respect from all of his teammates and coaches, especially the head man, coach Aaron McKie.
“He’s emerging. He’s working on his game and getting better, and it takes time, it’s a progression to get to this point,” said McKie, who was back on the bench after missing the last two games thanks to Covid protocol.
While a win is a win, the Owls nearly ended their win streak because of a season-high 18 turnovers.
“We talked about it over the last few days,” McKie said. “With these guys, [Tulsa doesn’t] pressure you the way a traditional pressure impact team would. Their zone and their matchup switching just kind of make you a little indecisive.”
While Jourdain was the star of the night, this win was a collective effort. After a sluggish start, the Owls most prolific scorer and guard Damian Dunn, started to pick things up in the second half and contributed mightily during the final stretch of the game, as he ended up with 17 points.
Forward Jake Forrester came off the bench for ten minutes and contributed with a pair of rebounds. The Owls had a season-high 11 steals with Dunn and Jeremiah Williams each grabbing three.
This win is now in the rearview mirror, as the Owls will prepare for their game next Wednesday versus the Wichita State Shockers at the Liacouras Center.
After an 8-2 start, Wichita State has now lost four of its last five games that includes a three-game losing streak.