Graduate women’s basketball guard finds 3-point stroke

Mykia Jones is shooting a career-high 38.2 percent from 3-point range this season.

Graduate guard Mykia Jones dribbles during the Owls’ 64-57 loss to Central Florida on Feb. 10 at McGonigle Hall. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / TTN FILE PHOTO

Mykia Jones said she used to do most of her scoring around the rim growing up. Now, she prefers shooting from more than 20 feet from the hoop.

Jones, a graduate transfer from Georgetown University, leads Temple in 3-point percentage. She is also second on the team in 3-point makes and third in attempts.

In her past four games, Jones has averaged eight points per game. She made five of her 12 3-point attempts against Wichita State last Wednesday to score a career-high 15 points.

“When I was younger, it was my handles and my speed that separated me from everybody else,” Jones said. “But when I got to college and everybody else was bigger than me, I had to figure out different ways to score rather than just taking people off the dribble and getting to the basket.”

During her freshman season at Wake Forest University, Jones made 11 3-pointers in 25 games and shot 29.7 percent from behind the 3-point arc. She improved her 3-point shooting to 32.1 percent the following year, when she made 27 3-pointers.

Jones then transferred to Georgetown and sat out her junior year due to NCAA transfer rules. In her senior season, Jones made 34 3-pointers on 34.3 percent shooting for the Hoyas.

“I think people really realized last year at Georgetown that I can shoot the ball,” Jones said.

Jones’ upward trend in 3-point shooting has continued at Temple. She is currently shooting a career-high 38.2 percent and has made 29 3-pointers with three games left in the regular season. Her 3-point percentage is nearly 10 percent better than her 2-point percentage.

Assistant coach CJ Jones said he is proud of how aggressive she has been from beyond the arc.

Mykia Jones said her favorite spot to shoot from is either of the wings.

“I just think that I’ve seen a change in her mentality realizing that her college career is coming closer to an end,” CJ Jones said. “I think she’s not letting moments pass. She’s maximizing all of her opportunities to get better and be able to produce on the court.”

In the 12 nonconference games Mykia Jones played, she averaged 2.3 points per game. In four of those games, she had zero 3-point attempts, and in seven games she had no 3-point makes.

Since the American Athletic Conference schedule started on Dec. 30, Mykia Jones has attempted a 3-pointer in every game. She has averaged seven points per game in the past 14 games.

She has made at least one 3-pointer in each conference game except the Jan. 16 game against Houston, when she played just five minutes.

Coach Tonya Cardoza said she has rewarded Mykia Jones with more playing time lately because she is working hard and playing with more confidence. She has averaged 22 minutes per game in conference play compared to 10.3 minutes per game against non-conference opponents.

“Her strength is shooting the three,” Cardoza said. “I think she’s doing a really good job of running our team. When she’s open, she has the green light to shoot it. Every time she shoots the ball, I think it’s going in because she puts time and effort into it.”

Mykia Jones feels comfortable shooting a 3-pointer off the dribble or catching a pass and shooting from an assist.

“There have been a couple of games where the ball hasn’t really fell for us at all, but I think that the main thing is just staying ready at all times,” Mykia Jones said. “When your name is called, when you have the open shot, just believe in yourself. You’ve done it for so long that it’s just natural. Now I don’t even think about it. I just shoot it. It’s just like clockwork now.”

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