It did not take long for the women’s basketball team (14-5, 3-1) to pull away from Penn (1-14, 0-1) and their struggling offense as they rolled to a 55-31 win over the Quakers.
Penn struggled mightily on offense. Junior forward Jerin Smith came off the bench for a career-high 16 points while the Penn’s whole starting lineup managed eight points throughout the entire game. The Quakers never made a three-point basket as they went 0 for 13 from beyond the arc. They also went through long stretches with out any points. It took them six minutes to get on the scoreboard at the beginning of game while Temple already had 14 points. In the second half, the Quakers managed only four points through the first 10 minutes.
Sophomore guard Kristen McCarthy continues to be one of the team’s most consistent scorers as she led the team with 13 points. Freshman center Victoria Macaulay had a breakout performance against the Quakers, putting up career highs in points and blocks with 12 and three respectively. Two other players tied some of their own career highs with freshman forward Natasha Thames scoring 10 points and sophomore guard B.J. Williams had 10 assists.
“That’s [the career highs] not important,” Macaulay said. “We could have played better.”
The team had one of its best defensive games of the season with 31 points being the lowest total for any opponent they played so far this season and forced the Quakers into shooting just 25 percent from the floor. The team also had a season-high eight blocked shots and forced 18 turnovers.
“Today they missed a lot of easy shots,” Coach Tonya Cardoza said. “Even though we held them, you do that to another team and maybe they don’t miss that same shot, so we have to get better at communicating and not giving up wide open layups, not letting people get offensive rebounds and have career games against us.
“We still have a lot of work to do.” She added.
With the win, Temple has now won four games in a row and played their final non-conference opponent of the regular season, while Penn has lost its fifth straight game. The team will go on the road to face St. Louis on Jan. 27 before returning home to the Liacouras Center on Jan. 30 to face St. Bonaventure as part of a double-header with the men’s team. Tipoff is 3 p.m.
Game Notes: Temple is now 2-1 this season against Big 5 opponents… They are 45-15 all-time against Penn. The Owls have won the previous five straight contests and 12 of the last 14… Penn senior guard Sarah Bucar fell a minute short of playing through the entire game. She has played through an entire game seven times this season… Penn will finish the season winless against the Big 5.
Brian Dzenis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org