Owls fall to Tigers in season opener

Temple Women’s Basketball could not keep up with No. 24 Princeton University’s multitude of scoring options, falling 67-49.

Kyra Wood, a freshman forward, fights two defenders to get the basketball during an Owls' game against Bucknell University at McGonigle Hall on Nov. 20. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In their first game under new head coach Diane Richardson, Temple had three players foul out to go along with a trend of sloppy basketball for the Owls on Monday. Temple’s “equal opportunity offense” lacked true scoring threats to combat Princeton’s well-rounded attack.

Temple Women’s Basketball (0-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) was defeated by No. 24 Princeton (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) 67-49 at Jadwin Gymnasium in Monday’s season opener. 

The Tigers are coming off an Ivy League Championship and their second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. 

“We had some drop off defensively and then all of our bigs fouled out,” Richardson said. “We had a lot of fouls called on us. We have to watch that a little bit and defend without fouling.”

Princeton attempted 31 free throws, making only 18 of them. The Tigers also forced 11 Temple turnovers while holding the Owls to just six assists.

Temple was 1-for-20 from deep, far from the 46 percent that Richardson said she wanted her team to average this season. Luckily for Temple, Princeton was 1-for-13. 

“We’ve got to be confident in our shots,” Richardson said. “Shoot like they’re going to go in.”

Temple sophomore guard Jasha Clinton led all scorers with 15 points while fellow sophomore Tiarra East had 11 with 11 rebounds, marking the only offensive highlights of Temple’s night. 

The Tigers went on an 11-0 run in the first quarter, converting on turnovers by the Owls and holding Temple to 3-13 shooting from the field and 0-5 from three during the period. The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field and were plus-11 during the quarter. 

Temple’s struggles continued at the beginning of the second quarter as they committed eight turnovers during the half. Senior guard Aleah Nelson did not score her first field goal until 3:42 to go in the second quarter but the difficulty of the shot sparked a run within Temple’s offense. Temple ended the second quarter on a 15-3 run bringing the score within three to end the first half down 28-25. 

Temple and Princeton opened up the second half more competitively than the first half as the Owls kept the scoring deficit within five. However, graduate guard Jalynn Holmes missed a layup in the third quarter,trimming Temple’s deficit to three points and sparking one more Princeton run to help the Tigers run away with the game. 

Temple shot just 29 percent from the field and couldn’t put together consistent bursts of offense to keep up with Princeton’s efficient mid-range scoring. This was the Owls’ first game without former forward Mia Davis, and an adjustment to the team’s offense must be made to find scoring options. 

Princeton had four players score in double figures, shooting a combined 43.7 percent from the field. Junior guard Kaitlyn Chen led the team in scoring with 14 points, shooting 60 percent from the field.

Temple will look to get their first win of the season when they return for their home opener against Georgetown (1-0, 0-0 Big East) on Nov. 12.

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