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.