Owls school Rhode Island in Atlantic Ten home opener

Temple returned home for the first time in six games and beat Rhode Island 95-48, as all five starters scored in double figures on School Day.

It’s been exactly five weeks since the women’s basketball team played a game at the Liacouras Center.
And while the Owls (10-5, 2-0 A-10) went 4-2 on their recent six-game road trip, today’s home cooking was certainly nice, as they beat Rhode Island (7-9, 0-1 A-10) 95-48 in their Atlantic Ten home opener and School Day.
“It was very nice coming home, but I actually forgot that we had to go around and shake hands after the game because it’s been so long since we’ve been here,” coach Tonya Cardoza said.
Temple is now 7-0 all time on School Day.
“It’s nice to have a crowd,” sophomore guard Lindsay Kimmel said. “When we go other places and they have huge crowds, we wish we could get more people in. So when the environment is packed, it gets everybody on the team excited.”
And it showed, as the Owls started out on a roll, opening the game on an 8-0 run that lasted the first four minutes of the game. Once the Rams responded with a basket, Temple followed up with another run, this time 11-0. They closed out the half by scoring 17 of the last 19 points for a 51-18 lead.
“At halftime I just told them that it’s a new ballgame,” Cardoza said. “And we’ve been talking about playing 40 good minutes of basketball for a while now.”
The offense was fueled by seven first half 3-pointers, four by Kimmel, and 20 points in the paint, as the Owls outrebounded the Rams 26-15 in the first half and 50-29 overall.
Kimmel, freshman forward Kristen McCarthy and senior forward Shenita Landry all finished the game with new career highs, scoring 22, 19 and 19 points respectively. All five starters scored in double figures.
Temple ended the game with 11 3-pointers, one shy of the school record. Kimmel tied her personal best in the category with six.
“Lindsay has opportunities, but today I think she was a little more focused,” Cardoza said. “Sometimes she has shots and is just looking to see if it goes in, but today she shot them knowing that they were going in. Once Lindsay started making shots, they kept finding her and making sure she made even more.”
But besides the offensive barrage, the Owls’ defense held Rhode Island’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Megan Shoniker, who entered the game averaging 11.8 points per game, scoreless until 9:17 left in the game. She finished with five points.
The Rams as a whole shot under 25 percent from the field in the first half, finishing at 26.2 percent and committing 14 turnovers. Temple, on the other hand, shot lights out, connecting on almost 60 percent of its shots.
“A lot of teams have been scoring on us. It’s more just that we’ve allowed people to come right at us instead of having a defensive presence,” Cardoza said. “The last two games we were able to stop their leading scorers from scoring. We don’t want their best players to get their averages.”
The Owls built their lead to as large as 47 points and had an opportunity to go for 100 for the first time since 1994 versus Rutgers.
“When I used to be an assistant coach, whenever you had an opportunity to score 100 points we would always be like, ‘Yeah, let’s get 100,’ Cardoza said. “But as a head coach that’s something you don’t ever want to do. You don’t want to try to embarrass your opponent. I was happy that we didn’t get it. But it was still an unbelievable win for us.”
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at jennifer.reardon@temple.edu.

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