Temple women’s basketball came out of the Stanford Tournament on Sunday showing the rest of the nation that the Owls can hang with the best of them.
In their first game of the tournament, the Owls faced No.2 Kansas State in a game that some thought would be an easy time for the Wildcats.
However, Temple came to play and gave their best effort in what could have been the biggest upset so far this season before the Wildcats mounted a comeback and won 72-65.
The first half was close, with Temple and Kansas State shooting equally well from the floor and from the foul line.
Temple led most of the first half, but not by much as Kansas State kept within reach.
The second half was the same story, with the Owls leading for most of the half, putting Kansas State’s number two ranking on the line.
“We led the game up until the last two minutes. I mean, they gave us what Kansas State does: offense, and we just attacked them. We should have won that game,” junior Tynecia Pam said.
In the end Kansas State was able to come back for a win.
A big factor in loss were the rebounds, or lack there of.
After three games of out-rebounding their opponents, Kansas State pulled down 44 boards to Temple’s 27.
Senior Stacey Smalls hadn’t been a big factor in the scoring department in the past three games, totaling 33 points, but she came alive against Kansas State, scoring 22 and adding four steals and four rebounds.
“I think in the beginning I was rushing,” she said.
The only other player to score in double figures was teammate Ari Moore with 10 points, and seven rebounds.
The consolation game had the Owls up against the Princeton University Tigers, who lost to Stanford a day earlier.
This proved to be an easier game and Temple beat Princeton 70-40.
Sophomore guard Khadija Bowens led all Temple scores with 16, while Smalls and Cynthia Jordan added 12 each.
Bowens was also named A-10 rookie of the week for her strong showings in the last few games.
The team will be back on the road, facing No.20 Boston College on Saturday, marking the second time in a week that Temple will face a ranked opponent.
“It’s a pretty tough schedule, but we take one game at a time,” Smalls said.
Things do not slow up after that, with Temple facing two tough Big East Conference teams.
The Owls play Rutgers on Tuesday Dec. 10 and No. 9 Notre Dame Dec. 14.
“I think teams are fearing us now because we’re going at No.2 teams in the nation, like teams who are already ranked are going at them,” Moore said.
Some on the players feel that their non-conference games won’t make their A-10 games any easier.
“We are the defending champions and it’s always harder to repeat than to win the first time,” Moore said.
“We’re just looking to go back and do what we did last year.”
Freshmen forward Candace Dupree feels otherwise.
“I think it’ll make it easier because the competition out of our conference is a lot harder than the competition in our conference,” she said.
Saudia Mitchell can be reached at Saudrae@hotmail.com.