Temple University women’s basketball (15-10, 7-5 The American Athletic Conference) cruised to a win against the Memphis Tigers (13-13, 4-8 The AAC) by a score of 78-64 Wednesday afternoon at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls made more than half of their shots and limited the Tigers’ two best players, freshman guard Madison Griggs and junior forward Dulcy Fankam-Mendjiadeu, making the rest of the team carry the load, coach Tonya Cardoza said.
“Guys might have made shots,” Cardoza said. “But it wasn’t the guy we wanted to make shots so you know, we limited the right way.”
The Owls got plenty of contributions offensively. Junior forward Mia Davis had another efficient shooting outing, scoring 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting along with eight rebounds.
Redshirt-sophomore guard Ashley Jones had 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including going 3-of-6 from three. She also found her teammates for nine assists. Jones said her assists just “came within the game.”
The Owls as a team shot 52.3 percent from the field, mostly due to their high percentage shot selection. They had 48 points in the paint.
“We just wanted to be aggressive,” Cardoza said. “We knew that they only had six players so they didn’t wanna foul, we didn’t want to settle for jump shots.”
Davis, as well as senior center Shannen Atkinson and sophomore forward Alexa Williamson, had success in the post because of that. Williamson had seven points on three made field goals and Atkinson had eight points on 50 percent shooting.
“It was a physical match, just had to be tough,” Davis said.
The Owls still took their fair share of threes, going 8-of-21 on the day, good for a 38.1 percent clip. Graduate student forward Lena Niang shot the ball particularly well. She went 4-of-9 from three and finished with 14 points.
Cardoza was impressed with Niang’s effort on both sides of the ball.
“I thought today [Niang] was confident and when she was open she looked to put it up,” she said. “But more importantly, she was trying to focus and pay attention on the defensive end, and help.”
Jones and Cardoza both felt the Owls’ defensive effort helped open up the offense.
“When we’re focused more on the defensive side, the offense comes easy for us,” Cardoza said. “We’re not worried about the shot that we missed or if the next one’s going in, we’re focused on defense and offense seems to come a little easier for us.”
The Owls hope to continue this momentum when they play at East Carolina (6-18, 3-8 The AAC) this Saturday at 1 p.m.