Exactly one month ago to the day, the women’s basketball team upset a previously unbeaten Syracuse team at McGonigle Hall. Since then the Owls have lost five straight, the latest a 66-58 defeat at the hands of Georgetown.
Despite draining a season-high 11 three-pointers, the Owls came away with yet another tally in the loss column.
The Owls and Hoyas were evenly matched from the get-go, with Temple leading by two at halftime. Temple sophomore point guard Tyonna Williams had a team-high 11 points at the break.
However, Georgetown turned up their offensive pursuit in the second half and was able to get to the free throw line down the stretch, shooting 15-for-21 from the strike following the intermission. The Hoyas were also able to score 16 points off of Temple turnovers in the second half.
Turnovers, as coach Tonya Cardoza is well aware of, has greatly hindered her team all season.
“I sound like a broken record but if you don’t take care of the ball and you give up offensive rebounds you’re not going to win basketball games, not against teams like [Georgetown] on their home court,” Cardoza said. “We have to be able to do the little things, and right now we’re not doing those things.”
Georgetown senior guard Sugar Rodgers continued her milestone campaign with a 21 point, 10 rebound effort while shooting 9-for-16 from the field. Earlier this season, Rodgers became the all-time scoring leader in program history at Georgetown, the first woman to ever reach the 2,000 point plateau for the Hoyas.
Perhaps the lone promising aspect that can be taken away from Temple’s fifth straight loss is Williams snapping out of a massive shooting drought. Williams went 2-for-21 over her last two outings before scoring a career high 18 points against Georgetown, including five three-pointers.
While she has been hot and cold all season long, nobody on the team works harder and wants to win more than Williams, Cardoza said.
“[Williams] wants it and she’s going out and trying to get better because she wants to compete against the very best,” Cardoza said. “And I can’t say that about all of our guys. Some of our guys don’t look for that type of competition, but [Williams] does.”
Freshman guard Erica Covile continued her recent struggles, playing seven minutes and failing to score a point. Over Temple’s last three games, Covile has played a combined 11 minutes despite previously showing signs of breaking out earlier in the season.
Consuming most of Covile’s vacated playing time has been freshman guard Meghan Roxas. In a losing effort against Georgetown, Roxas played 28 minutes off the bench while registering a career high 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting, including 3-for-7 from three-point range.
Senior center Victoria Macaulay shot just 2-for-10 from the floor, finishing with eight points and 11 rebounds and falling short of her seventh double-double of the season. She was matched by Georgetown senior center Sydney Wilson, who also scored eight points on 3-for-13 shooting.
Cardoza acknowledges that many members of the team lack intensity and have proven to be liabilities.
“We might have a couple of guys [playing up to expectations], but as a group we have too many guys that we have to try to pick up and they’re not doing their part,” Cardoza said. “And I don’t think it has anything to do with youth, I think it’s a mindset that you have to play with when you play this game. And we have a lot of guys, right now, that don’t have the mindset to go out there and try and kick somebody’s behind. We’re just hoping that teams lose to us.”
In the midst of their longest losing streak of the season, the Owls have stooped to 5-7 on the year while Georgetown improves to 9-4.
Temple will look to salvage a win in what will be its final game of a six-game road swing against Howard on Friday, Jan. 4.
Tyler Sablich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TySablich.