As Tonya Cardoza watched her team practice in preparation for Howard, she knew her team would be ready.
After the coach watched her team surge past Howard 78-48, she knew she had been right.
It was a dominant performance on both ends for the Owls (4-7) as they forced a season high 33 turnovers and shot 44 percent from the field.
For Cardoza, containing Howard redshirt-sophomore point guard Te’Shya Heslip.
“We just tried to make someone else dribble the ball,” Cardoza said. “Their point guard does a good job … so we were just trying to keep the ball out of her hands and make other people make plays.”
Sophomore guard Tanaya Atkinson lead the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Erica Covile added 14 points and nine rebounds. Over the last two games, the pair have scored a combined 66 points and 34 rebounds.
“They were not that big inside and I think we took advantage of our opportunities … we did a good job of getting the ball to guys with scoring opportunities … but it’s good to see those guys with back to back good games on both sides of the ball.”
Cardoza also believed that her team had the size advantage and needed to get the ball inside. The Owls were able to work the ball inside to sophomore Taylor Robinson, who scored a season-high 15 points. The 6-foot-4 center allowed the Owls dominate the paint— where they scored 40 of their 78 points.
“They didn’t have the size to match up with Taylor and we were able to find her,” Cardoza said. “She was being aggressive and wanting the ball and once she got some easy buckets, our guys got a lot of confidence to throw the ball inside to her.”
Temple, who came into the game on a four game losing streak, jumped on Howard early with a 22-5 lead minutes into the game. Cardoza knew it was important for the Owls to get off to a fast start. Combined over the first 10 games, the Owls have been outscored 348 to 304.
“It was important,” Cardoza said. “We haven’t really gotten off to great starts … we jumped on them from the start.”
For a team with only four upperclassmen, a game against a team with only one win coming into the game, could have been a stumbling block for such a young team, according to Cardoza
“It’s easy to look at their record and assume you can show up and win the game … but we didn’t do that … we talked about not worrying about their record … no matter what the situation is, we have to compete for 40 minutes,” Cardoza said.
Michael Guise can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @Michael_Guise