After a 34-point loss against Houston (11-5, 8-4 The American Athletic Conference) on Jan. 20, head coach Tonya Cardoza didn’t think it could get much worse for the Owls, she said after that game.
Temple University women’s basketball (7-8, 7-5 The American) lost again in a blowout to Houston Wednesday afternoon, this time 89-52 at home.
“I thought we would be something different than we were in Houston,” Cardoza said. “But today’s game was actually worse. It felt like they have our number, and we played on our heels.”
The Cougars’ defense smothered Temple’s offense throughout the entire game. The Owls shot 37 percent from the field and just nine percent from behind the 3-point line.
The Owls’ points almost all came from their big three of senior forward Mia Davis, junior forward Alexa Williamson and freshman guard Jasha Clinton. The rest of the team scored just six points in total.
Williamson led the team with 19 points, Davis finished second with 17 points and Clinton was third with 10 points.
Houston’s ability to take away other scoring options allowed them to zero in on Davis and Williamson. Houston played a very aggressive style of defense, pressuring guards as soon as they crossed half court.
“Our guards had a hard time getting the ball into us,” Williamson said.
Houston’s speed and depth at the guard position allowed them to play aggressively, making them a tough matchup for Temple, who is a young team averaging 18.3 turnovers per game this season.
Temple turned the ball over more than 26 times during the course of the game.
“We will turn the ball over, that’s something that we’re not going to be perfect on,” Cardoza said. “But I was more disappointed in how we responded.”
This is Temple’s third loss by more than 30 points in the last month, including their first loss against Houston and their 36-point loss against Tulane on Jan. 30. Cardoza is worried the team’s attitude after making mistakes is what takes them out of games early, she said.
“We are more focused on the mistakes that we make instead of trying to correct things,” Cardoza added. “Then guys get frustrated and try to do much instead of huddling and letting things go.”
The Owls need to be more focused on both offense and defense to keep games closer, Williamson said.
“Sometimes I feel like we lose sight of what we’re trying to do out there,” she added.
The Owls’ next game is at home against Eastern Carolina (6-10, 4-7 The American) on Feb. 13 at noon.