The Owls put on a clinic today in McGonigle Hall, stomping the Richmond Spiders 84-56 with a well balanced attack on offense and defense.
“I thought we had a really good, balanced attack and we were making shots,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “And we were making shots like that and playing good defense. That’s fun to watch.”
“To play well and win is just a good feeling,” junior forward Kristen McCarthy added.
From tip-off to the final buzzer, the Owls control the game. Senior guard Qwedia Wallace started off the day with a three, which would be the team’s smallest lead, and the Owls never looked back. Within two minutes they were up 10-0 before the Spiders made their first basket, a jumper by senior guard Brittani Shells.
Shells, who led Richmond with 20.4 points per game going into the contest, was silent for much of the night. The Owls held her to just 10 points, and kept junior guard Abby Oliver in check as well with just five points.
“I was talking to the guards,” junior guard Shey Peddy said. “I was like, ‘No matter what we do tonight we got to make sure we shut them two down, make somebody else work for it.’”
Peddy, who led the team in steals (five), assists (nine) and rebounds (seven), was all over the court causing mayhem for the Spiders. Richmond managed just 36.2 percent shooting from the field, including 0-8 from beyond the arc.
But it was the Temple’s offense that stole the show. Four Owls reached double-digit points on the night including a season high 23 from McCarthy. Senior forward Marli Bennett chipped in 11 points while Peddy and junior guard BJ Williams added 12 points each.
“It’s important to me because I feel like I’ve been struggling as of late so hopefully I can build off of this with some momentum,” McCarthy said.
Even the bench players got into the act as junior center Joelle Connelly and senior forward Danielle Brinkley scored 10 points total.
Cardoza has been waiting all season for the team’s trio—Peddy, Wallace and McCarthy—to get into a groove on the same night and carry the team. Instead she got an even better performance from the entire time.
“Yes this is definitely what we’re looking for,” Cardoza said. “I’m not going to be greedy and nit-pick about some things. That’s definitely a great team effort, not just those three. When you have that type of balanced attack it’s going to be hard for teams to beat us, especially when we’re playing defense like that.”
“It’s just a lot of fun to be able to cheer on your teammates because some of them don’t get to get in the game as much as we do,” McCarthy added.
The Owls controlled the game from start to finish, even with many of their bench players receiving more playing time than usually. Temple went into the half up 46-27 and started the second half with the pedal to the floor, pushing their lead to 35 with six minutes remaining. The Spiders never had a chance to climb their way back into the game.
Overall, it was a big night for the Owls. Temple out-rebounded the Spiders 39-27 and forced 16 turnovers. In the first half the Owls were lights out, shooting over 60 percent from the floor while connecting on eight of 11 from three-point land. When all was said and done, the team broke their record for most treys in a game with 14, the last two of which came from the unlikely hands of Brinkley.
“I thought this was one of the better games we played in a long time. I thought we did a good job of playing 40 minutes of really good basketball.”
Jake Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.