The women’s basketball team (15-6, 4-2) remained neck and neck with St. Bonaventure (16-6, 4-3) for most of the game, but the Owls’ defensive miscues cost them down the stretch as they fell 64-54 to the Bonnies, snapping a five-game winning streak.
“This is a very tough loss to swallow.” Coach Tonya Cardoza said. “Obviously, St. Bonaventure is a great team and they know what our weaknesses are and took advantage of it.”
One of their weaknesses was their inability to contain St. Bonaventure senior forward Dana Mitchell. In the past season, Mitchell had two big games against the Owls and this game was no exception as she lead the team with 18 points and five rebounds. She was one of four other players who scored in double-digits for the Bonnies.
“She’s just unstoppable, you can’t guard her one on one.” Cardoza said. “Even when you do a good job and stop her, she can shoot over you whether it’s a fade away or whatever.”
The Bonnies got off to a quick 6-0 start in the game, but Temple quickly came back and the two teams traded the lead for most of the half. Most of the scoring for both sides was done inside and in the paint.
“Their style of play is to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket.” Cardoza said.
Neither side had much success from beyond the arc. St. Bonaventure finished 3 for 8 from three-point territory and sophomore guard Kristen McCarthy had Temple’s lone three-pointer out of the teams nine shots.
St. Bonaventure had a slim 26-25 lead going into halftime. Helping the Owls keep pace with the Bonnies were McCarthy and senior center Jasmine Stone. McCarthy led the team 16 points and Stone had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
As the second half rolled around, McCarthy and Stone continued to keep the game close and sophomore guard B.J. Williams had a second-half scoring surge. She would go on to finish with 11 points and 7 assists.
With about seven minutes left in the game, St. Bonaventure began to pull away as Stone and senior guard Lakeisha Eaddy were both tagged with fouls in less than a minute. The Bonnies took advantage of those two fouls and to take a 46-41 lead and things finally began to unravel for the Owls.
“I think we started getting a little bit frustrated because we didn’t get calls the we thought we should have gotten and sort of got rattled.” Cardoza said. “Then we lost concentration down at the other end where whether we were supposed to switch or stay and gave them wide open shots.
“It was almost like panic mode on the offensive end for us.” She added.
As time winded down, St. Bonaventure continued to stifle the Owls offense and rely on their near-perfect free throw shooting to hold on for the win. The Owls next two will be away games even though the team will never leave Philadelphia. The Owls will face St. Joseph’s on Feb. 2 and La Salle on Feb. 6.
Brian Dzenis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Game Notes: Lakeisha Eaddy scored five points, which puts her at exactly 1,000 points for her career.