Junior guard Shey Peddy led the women’s basketball team on both sides of the court against Atlantic Ten Conference rival St. Joseph’s, in a very physical 53-43 win.
Peddy, who put up a game-high 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go along with five steals, was the catalyst for a Temple team that struggled to make baskets and was forced to scratch a claw for every point.
“It’s almost irreplaceable to have someone like that, that can score and then play 40 minutes of pressure basketball,” coach Tonya Cardoza said.
While Peddy drew most of the attention on the night, junior forward Kristen McCarthy played the sidekick role well, providing a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. She also broke the 1,000-point plateau on the night, becoming the 18th player to do so in team history. McCarthy fought for every bucket, going only six-of-20 from the field, but found a way to contribute in other ways.
“[St. Joe’s is] very physical, I got knocked around and everything,” McCarthy said. “But my shot wasn’t falling, I forced a few shots, but I just tried to keep rebounding and do other things for my team.”
McCarthy wasn’t the only one who had trouble making shots. The Owls shot a paltry 31.8 percent from the field and only went one-of-13 from three-point territory, which has been one of the team’s strengths all season.
“Our shots weren’t falling and I thought we got a little erratic on offense sometimes but a lot of that had to do with what St. Joe’s was doing too, pressuring us and forcing us to take bad shots,” Cardoza said.
Fortunately for the Owls, their defense was equally as tough. The Hawks missed all eight three-point attempts and had a slightly better shooting percentage than the Owls at 33.3 percent.
Peddy and company were able to force the Hawks out of their rhythm early and often. St. Joe’s leading scorers, junior guards Michelle Baker and Katie Kuester combined for only six points on the night. Going into the game, the duo averaged just over 25 points per game.
“I thought our guys did a great job of finding [Kuester] and making sure that they limited her touches and just pressure her so much that the only shot she was going to get was by putting the ball on the floor,” Cardoza said.
With Kuester and Baker out of the mix, the Hawks had to rely on junior forwards Kelly Cavallo, who posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Samira Van Grinsven, who tacked on 10 points and eight rebounds.
The game was another classic between Temple and St. Joe’s.
“The five games we’ve played against them since I’ve been here,” Cardoza said. “[have] always been hard-fought and down to the wire.”
While the Owls won by 10, the game was much closer. Temple took the lead 2-0 on a basket by junior center Victoria Macaulay and never gave it up but the Hawks lingered the entire game. Every rebound was a struggle, as St. Joe’s barely won the battle 43-44.
St. Joe’s scored 10 points on nine turnovers while the Owls were able to produce 17 points on 17 turnovers.
With a little more than 10 minutes remaining, the Hawks chipped away at a 40-26 deficit. With six minutes left they managed to cut the lead to five, at 43-38, before Peddy took over and closed out the game with seven of the Owls’ last 10 points.
The win brings the Owls to 12-6 overall and 4-0 in the A-10. Next up for the team is trip to Penn on Saturday in another Big 5 showdown.
Jake Adams can be reached at email@example.com.