Owls run by Golden Rams for preseason victory

Temple defeated West Chester in an exhibition.

In a preseason exhibition matchup, Temple defeated West Chester 116-59 on Saturday in McGonigle Hall.

“We’re trying to run,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “We’re trying to score in transition. We have guys who can handle the ball. We’re definitely looking to put the ball on the floor.”

Temple’s defense led them to the blowout win, holding West Chester to 28.4 field goal percentage and forcing 30 turnovers. The Owls capitalized on West Chester’s missed shots and turnovers by running the floor and scoring on several transition plays.

Six Temple players posted double figures in the scoring column, led by freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald with a game-high 23 points. Fitzgerald also added three steals and a game-high seven assists.

Junior guard Tyonna Williams registered 16 points, three assists, and two steals on the day.

“We have Feyonda, who’s a freshman, playing the point and it’s difficult playing the point as a freshman,” Cardoza said. “But I think our older guys, especially having Tyonna by her side to help her out, makes her job a little easier. I think they’re meshing well.”

Playing in her first game action since dislocating her knee last season, sophomore guard Erica Coville recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, and four steals.

“[The knee] is ok,” Coville said. “It’s still hurting a little bit but I’m getting there.”

Graduate guard Shi-Heria Shipp and senior forward Natasha Thames grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds each. Thames also added three blocks, which was also a game-high.

“Because [Victoria Macaulay] is gone, I have to step up and be an offensive threat,” Thames, who scored 17 points, said.

Temple shot 51% from the field, including 40% from three point range. The Owls outrebounded the Golden Rams 54-38 and won the turnover battle by 14.

The Owls final score was largely due to their defense in the first period. Temple jumped out to a big first period advantage through transition buckets coming off of defensive rebounds and steals. In the first period, the Golden Rams turned the ball over 16 times with eight of those turnovers registered as Owls’ steals. Through 20 minutes of gameplay, Temple held a 65-27 halftime advantage.

“My biggest thing is that we get better defensively,” Cardoza said. “If we can learn to score like that and lock teams up, that’s when I know we’ll be a pretty good team.”

Brien Edwards can be reached at brien.erick.edwards@temple.edu or on Twitter @BErick1123.

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