At the start of the season, Ari Moore could not even hit shots she was comfortable with and endured a slump for much of the team’s non-conference schedule. But since Atlantic Ten play started, Moore has found her shot again.
The junior forward was one of four Owls to score in double figures during Temple’s 57-47 win against Rhode Island on Sunday at the Liacouras Center.
Moore made her first three attempts from the field and finished with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting, behind leading scorer Cynthia Jordan (13 points). Freshmen Britney Jordan and Kamesha Hairston finished with 10 and 12 points, respectively.
“I was not shooting the ball well,” Moore said of her early-season woes. “I’m feeling good now. I’m getting a lot of extra shots. My coaches and teammates stuck with me through this horrible, horrible slump.”
Sophomore center Candice Dupree, the A-10 Player of the Week, contributed only six points and nine rebounds.
The Owls had total control of both ends of the court throughout the game.
Temple (8-6, 4-0) turned the game into a laugher by halftime, holding the Rams to only 15 points by intermission. By drawing offensive fouls and out-rebounding Rhode Island (9-7, 2-3) by a margin of 38-27, the Owls led by as many as 20 points in the second half on two separate occasions.
“We wanted to disrupt and to make this an ugly game,” Staley said. “Defensively, we jumped on them, got a read, rolled it out, and stumbled a little along the way.”
Offensively, second-chance opportunities helped the Owls jump on the Rams early and late. Temple hauled in 12 offensive rebounds and shot 44 percent from the field, including three-of-five from three-point range.
Leading the way for the Rams were Denise King with 13 points and Shayla Johnson, who scored a game-high 15 points off the bench.
Temple has a tough road ahead this week, including a non-conference meeting with Big East powerhouse Rutgers and A-10 East division leader St. Joseph’s. The Hawks and Owls both have perfect conference records.
“In order to win, we need to have better games than we had today,” Staley said. “We can play well, and we look forward to the competition. Hopefully, it will all snowball for us.”
Christopher A. Vito can be reached at email@example.com.