After failing to recover from a slow start, Temple University women’s basketball (5-4, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) lost 73-63 against St. Joseph’s University (4-6, 0-0 The Atlantic-10 Conference) on Saturday afternoon at McGonigle Hall.
Despite enjoying a three game winning streak, the Owls have struggled with rebounding and applying consistent defensive pressure in the last few games, and that continued in Saturday’s match.
“We knew coming in here that this was going to be a tough game,” said head coach Tonya Cardoza. “They play extremely hard, they execute their offense and they’re playing really good basketball right now.”
Although the Hawks took an early 9-2 lead in the first quarter, the Owls picked up the momentum in the second quarter.
With just three minutes and 13 seconds left in the second quarter, Owls’ freshman guard Jasha Clinton made a 3-pointer, putting Temple ahead 25-24.
The Hawks answered back, going on an 8-0 run to close out the first half with a 32-25 lead.
“Today, [the Hawks] executed their offense to perfection,” Cardoza said. “We didn’t do a good job defending them.”
Coming out of halftime, the Owls tried to take control of the game, but fell short. The Hawks played a 2-3 defense and packed the paint, forcing the Owls to take shots away from the basket.
During a two minute stretch in the third quarter, Owls’ graduate student forward Mia Davis scored seven points in a row, cutting the Hawks’ lead to 42-37.
Hawks’ graduate student guard Katie Jekot led the team in scoring, totaling 25 points. The Owls struggled to guard her throughout the game.
“I felt like mentally, we were tired,” Cardoza said. “And mentally, since we were running around guarding them, we were physically now tired.”
Clinton led the Owls with 24 points and made 10 of her 15 attempts from the field. Davis contributed with 18 points, converting all six of her free-throw attempts.
Temple will hit the road to Evanston, Illinois, to take on Northwestern University (7-3, 1-0 The Big Ten Conference) on Dec. 17 at 8 p.m.