As Temple prepared to exit Hamden, Connecticut, coach Tonya Cardoza said to her team discipline is the reason it lost to the University of Quinnipiac 58-56 Tuesday night.
After shooting 50 percent in the first half, the Owls struggled in the third quarter, scoring 10 points on 22.2 percent shooting. After Temple outscored Quinnipiac 16-14 in the fourth quarter, Temple still fell short.
“We are not doing what is asked of us, like following the gameplan, doing what we are supposed to be doing,” Cardoza said. “It is a lack of discipline, and that is why we are sitting where we are right now.”
The Owls won their first two contests of the season, defeating the University of Florida and La Salle, Temple is now 2-2 after two consecutive losses.
After shooting 25.4 percent in a 61-51 loss to Rutgers University Sunday in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Temple went 23-of-60 from the field against the Bobcats, shooting 38.3 percent on the night.
Quinnipiac knocked down nine three-pointers, earning three of those in the final quarter.
“That is what they do, they have all five guys who can knock down a three,” Cardoza said. “We weren’t helping ourselves and were not rotating over to block.”
Senior guard Erica Covile hit a free throw with a minute left in the game and cut the Bobcats’ lead down to three.
Temple’s last effort came at 34 seconds when junior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald stole the ball and missed a jump shot on the offensive end. After two offensive rebounds, sophomore guard Alliya Butts had another opportunity to tie the game, but she shot an air ball as the clock ran out.
In a game where the team struggled to score, Cardoza needed senior guard Erica Covile and sophomore guard Tanaya Atkinson to play a bigger role than they have this season.
“They are more than qualified and they have proven that” Cardoza said. “We need both of those players to step up on the offensive end. I need Erica to take 10 or more shots at least. Even if she is not making them, I need her to at least try.”
Covile and Atkinson both reached double digits, combining for 21 points.
“I’m going to say I can be the scorer for this team, so tonight I had to step up because they were not knocking down shots,” Covile said. “I needed to be even more aggressive than I was, and the outcome could have been different.”
The Bobcats held the Owls’ top two leading scorers, Fitzgerald and Butts, to 20 combined points. Although Fitzgerald shot 29.4 percent from the floor, her lowest of the season, she led the team with 13 points. Butts added seven points. It is the lowest both players scored in their first four games of this season.
The other six Owls who took the court inside the TD Bank Sports Center, scored 13 of Temple’s 56 points.
“Our shooters were not getting back in transition fast enough,” Covile said. “We weren’t knocking shots down and weren’t boxing out.”
Temple outrebounded Quinnipiac 44-34 and shot 38.3 percent compared to Quinnipiac’s 34.5 percent, but defensive efforts plagued the team.
Freshman guard Deja Reynolds earned Temple’s only block of the game. Besides the combined seven steals from Butts and Fitzgerald, Reynolds is the only other player to get a steal.
“We need to box out, make sure you have help, know who the shooters are, just simple things,” junior center Taylor Robinson said. “We need to do these things each and every game, get better and move forward.”
Connor Northrup can be reached at email@example.com.