Temple University women’s basketball (6-5, 0-1, The American Athletic Conference) held off a late comeback from Villanova (4-5) Tuesday to win 74-69 at McGonigle Hall.
Freshman guard Asonah Alexander, who has replaced injured redshirt-sophomore Ashley Jones since Dec. 7, played a big role in the win.
Alexander came close to the first triple-double in program history, finishing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
Alexander shot 7-12 from field, going 2-2 from beyond the arc. She also was 3-4 from the free throw line.
Cardoza had wanted Alexander to be more aggressive in the last two games, and she got that from the freshman guard against the Wildcats, she said.
“I had to put my team back up,” Alexander said. “Shots weren’t falling and we weren’t doing that well on defense, so I felt I had to attack more and be more aggressive.”
Alexander said this game was a confidence boost for her.
Cardoza acknowledged Alexander’s ability to be a consistent third or fourth scorer for the team.
“We need [Alexander] to score more,” Cardoza said. “So she can still be a facilitator, but we need [Alexander] to be aggressive and look to score, because she can.”
The Owls’ defense struggled again when they started missing shots on offense, a trend Cardoza has noticed all year.
“Down the stretch, we got a little lax because we weren’t scoring,” Cardoza said, “But like I said, we got stops when we needed.”
The key for the Owls is to not drop their levels of focus and intensity when shots aren’t falling, Cardoza said. They shot 53.1 percent from the field in the first half and 70 percent from three.
In the second half, they shot just 28.6 percent from the field just when Villanova started to make shots in an attempt to make a comeback in the match.
Sophomore guard Marissa Mackins said that missing shots used to affect her a lot, but she is learning to move past her misses.
“The past few games I haven’t been hitting shots and it brought me down,” Mackins said, “But coach told me to always stay in the game no matter what.”
Mackins has also discovered her shooting stroke as of late. She shot 3-6 from three and finished with 15 points of her own.
The Owls’ next game is on Dec. 22 at 12 p.m. against Florida Gulf Coast (10-1) at McGonigle Hall.