Temple University women’s basketball (2-1) failed to continue its early-season success as it lost to Saint Joe’s (2-0) 67-63 Monday night at the Hagan Arena.
Before the game against the Hawks, the Owls shot 42 percent from the three-point line in their first two games of the season. However, Temple only made four three-pointers on 24 attempts against Saint Joe’s.
Coach Tonya Cardoza thought her team had poor shot selection against the Hawks.
“My thing is if they’re not falling, we gotta figure out a different way,” Cardoza said. “The refs are calling the game pretty close, so let’s keep attacking. We got some of their players in foul trouble too and I just felt like we settled. It was easy to stop and shoot jump shots.”
Junior forward Mia Davis led the Owls with 29 points, despite shooting 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Davis made 12 free throws on 16 attempts. A lot of her points came from scoring in the post near the basket.
Cardoza thought Davis should have scored more than 40 points and received the ball in the post more.
“[Davis] should’ve gotten it a lot more,” sophomore guard Marissa Mackins said. “Coach was just talking to us in the locker room saying how Mia had 29 points and she should’ve kept getting the ball and we disregarded that. We weren’t paying attention. We weren’t playing smart.”
Despite the poor shooting performance, the Owls kept the game close. After being down 20-9 with seven minutes and 45 seconds left in the second quarter, Temple called a timeout. After the timeout, Temple went on a 21-8 run to end the half.
The Owls went into halftime with a 30-28 lead.
The Hawks controlled the game in the second half, having a 19-12 scoring advantage over the Owls in the third quarter. The Hawks attacked the post more often in the second half, leading to more trips to the free throw line.
While only attempting four free throws in the first half, the Hawks made 23-of-27 of their free throw attempts in the second half.
“I think we committed a lot of early fouls and put them in the double-bonus real early in the game,” Cardoza said. “We got guys in foul trouble where we had to play a lot of different lineups. We couldn’t keep them in front of us, so we kept putting our hands on them and allowed way too much dribble penetration.”
The Owls tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter, holding a 21-20 advantage in points. Temple cut the deficit to one when sophomore forward Alexa Williamson made a free throw to make the score 56-55 with one minute and 51 seconds remaining.
On the next possession, Hawks senior guard Nailah Delinois made her first free throw but missed her second. Delinois then got her own rebound, where she was fouled by Mackins. Delinois made two more free throws to make the score 59-55 with one minute and 40 seconds left in the game.
The Hawks’ effective free throw shooting helped them for the rest of the game, as sophomore guard Katie Jekot made eight free throws to put the Hawks at 67 points.
The halftime break paused Temple’s second quarter momentum as it didn’t carry over into the third and fourth quarters, Mackins said.
“I definitely think halftime and that little break that we had stopped our momentum,” Mackins said. “We talked about it in the locker room how we needed to come out with that same momentum, but it didn’t work. We started picking it up, but it was too late.”
The Owls will play Xavier University (1-0) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Liacouras Center.
“We just gotta be better defensively,” Cardoza said. “I think when we’re playing good defense, we’re able to get some stops and get out in transition and that’s when we’re at our best when we’re running the floor.”