The women’s basketball team is waiting to get in sync.
Junior guard Shey Peddy gave the women’s basketball team a couple more solid performances this week in tough wins against Big 5 rivals St. Joseph’s and Penn.
The word “solid” is an understatement for most players, outbursts, such as the 19-point display against the Hawks and the 20 points against the Quakers, are becoming regular occurrences for the Owls’ rising star.
“When [Peddy’s] playing the way that she’s playing, she gives us an opportunity,” coach Tonya Cardoza said after the St. Joe’s game. “You have to defend the three and then the fact that she was able to get to the basket.”
In her last four games, Peddy has averaged 16.5 points per game to go along with five rebounds and 4.5 assists. If that isn’t enough, she’s averaged 4.25 steals in the same span to bring her team-leading total to 52 on the season.
Peddy’s recent hot streak on both ends of the floor has been the spark for the Owls’ current six-game winning streak, which has put the squad on top of the Atlantic Ten Conference at 4-0 and 2-0 against the Big 5 teams.
The Owls kicked off the Big 5 season against St. Joe’s on Wednesday; Peddy posted 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. She provided clutch points during crunch time, scoring nine of the team’s final 13 points to close out the Hawks.
The guard added five steals in the game, which proved to be the difference maker as the Owls won the turnover battle, 17-9.
Junior forward Kristen McCarthy contributed a double-double, scoring 14 points along with 11 rebounds on the night. McCarthy became the 18th player in Temple women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 points in her career.
“I think it’s a good milestone, but it’s something that I’ll look back on,” McCarthy said.
The milestone came only a few weeks after Peddy broke the 1,000-point mark in a loss to Eastern Michigan. For good measure, senior guard Qwedia Wallace is 21 points away from eclipsing the mark.
The home game against the Hawks wasn’t pretty, as both teams shot under 35 percent from the field. For all the struggles Temple had shooting the ball, it was able to make life equally difficult for the St. Joe’s offense.
Junior guards Michelle Baker and Katie Kuester, the Hawks’ leading scorers, were nearly nonexistent as the Owls held them to a combined 10 points on the night. Junior forwards Samira Van Grinsven and Kelly Cavallo stepped up to combine for 20 points and 18 rebounds.
The Owls’ three-point shooting was absent, as the team went just 1-of-13 from downtown. Peddy and company had to rely on scrappy play and points off of turnovers to beat their Big 5 rival, 53-43.
On Saturday, the team traveled downtown to the Palestra to take on the Quakers. The women, led by Peddy’s 20-point performance, were able to hold off Penn long enough in a game very much like St. Joe’s.
Both teams struggled to make shots early. Temple shot 33.6 percent, but hit big shots when it mattered, especially from beyond the arc, where the team found its stroke, going 8-of-19.
Penn, which came into the game at 6-8, kept the match close as freshman guard Alyssa Baron shredded the Owls for 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including three treys. Baron led the team with five assists and tied the game-high three steals.
Thankfully, Peddy was not left alone, as Wallace and sophomore forward Natasha Thames provided 14 and 10 points, respectively. Thames added eight rebounds, tying for the game-high with Peddy. McCarthy only managed four points.
In the game against St. Joe’s, Wallace scored just two points. The team is waiting for a game where Peddy, Wallace and McCarthy catch fire at the same time. If the trio can take over a game at the same time, the Owls could be dangerous.
“The thing that we’re searching for is [to] have all three of our perimeter players [Wallace, McCarthy and Peddy] to have a good night,” Cardoza said. “We haven’t had that yet. It’s always one or the other. And that’s good that someone steps up, but just to get to the point where they’re all syncing and playing well together, that’s something we’re trying to get to.”
The Owl’s return to action on Wednesday in Amherst, Mass. against Massachusetts before returning to Philadelphia to host Richmond in McGonigle Hall on Saturday. Tip-off against Richmond is set for 2 p.m.
Jake Adams can be reached at email@example.com.