Battle in the backcourt

Guards Kristen McCarthy and Shaqwedia Wallace both average double figures. Rhode Island’s team has three double-digit scorers of its own.

Guards Kristen McCarthy and Shaqwedia Wallace both average double figures. Rhode Island’s team has three double-digit scorers of its own.

THO NGUYEN TTN Sophomore guard BJ Williams brings the ball up the court with senior forward Jasmine Stone. Williams has scored double digits in two of the last three games.

The women’s basketball team (12-5 overall, 2-1 Atlantic Ten Conference) began the new year with a three-game losing streak, but after those losses, the team has turned its fortunes around with wins against Fordham and Saint Joseph’s. Today, the Owls can follow that three-game losing streak with a three-game winning one as they take on A-10 opponent Rhode Island (9-9 overall, 2-1 A-10) on the road.

Temple and Rhode Island are currently tied in the A-10 standings with identical conference records, and for the Owls to break the deadlock, they will have to contain the Rams’ three main scoring threats in the backcourt. Rhode Island is led by freshman guard Ashley Rivera, who leads the team in scoring by averaging 12.1 points per game. She is also the Rams’ primary 3-point shooter. She has taken 114 of the team’s 190 shots from beyond the arc and has made 48 of them.

With her in the backcourt are two other guards who are also double-digit scorers. Senior Lindsay Harris averages a double-double a game with 10.4 points and 10.2 rebounds, to lead the A-10 in rebounds per game. Junior Megan Shoniker also contributes 10.1 points per game for the Rams.

The Owls go into this game able to fight fire with fire with three equally potent guards. Sophomore Kristen McCarthy is only 0.5 points per game behind the team’s leading scorer, junior guard Shaqwedia Wallace. Wallace leads Temple with a 13.1 points per game average. Sophomore guard BJ Williams has gone from coming off the bench to becoming the team’s starting point guard for two games after senior guard LaKeisha Eaddy suffered a broken nose and concussion in a Jan. 8 practice. With more time on the floor, Williams has shown she can fill out the stat-sheet with a 12-point, six-assist performance in an 82-69 loss to Xavier. She added a double-double against Fordham with 13 points and 10 assists.

In the Owls’ most recent game, a 58-55 overtime win against St. Joe’s this past Saturday, Eaddy returned to action, though she wore a protective mask. She also came back with 17 points and five assists in the win versus the Hawks. Eaddy remains among the conference leaders in assists per game with 4.0, which puts her in third place. She is also 17 points shy of reaching 1,000 points during the course of her career.

Temple returns to McGonigle Hall Saturday for a Big 5 matchup against the Penn Quakers (1-13 overall, 0-1 Big 5). With a win against Rhode Island, this game would then present the Owls with the opportunity to extend their winning streak to four games, as the Quakers are currently mired in a four-game losing streak. The Quakers’ leading scorer is senior guard Sarah Buscar with 10.1 points. Penn’s only win was a 52-48 victory versus Saint Francis on New Year’s Eve. Game time Saturday is 2 p.m.

Brian Dzenis can be reached at

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