Temple University women’s basketball (1-0) defeated Fairfield University (0-1) 77-59 at McGonigle Hall Tuesday night, following a scoring outburst in the third quarter and some creative defensive strategies.
Temple poured in 29 points in the third, shooting 58.8 percent on field goals overall and 66.7 percent from the three-point line.
They shot efficiently in the first 9 minutes of the third quarter to grow their lead to 40-27. Their lead did not dip below 12 points for the rest of the game.
Redshirt-sophomore guard Ashley Jones scored a team-leading 21 points and dished out seven assists in her first game at Temple. Jones sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
“I was excited to finally get out there and play in front of my friends and family,” Jones said. “I was frustrated sometimes, sitting on the bench last year. I just wanted to get out there and play.”
Sophomore guard Marissa Mackins dropped 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting. She also shot 6-for-15 on three-pointers for a 40 percent clip. She attempted the most 3-point shots on the team, while Jones was the most efficient, making 44 percent of her attempts.
“I am really impressed that the team was able to put up 77 points against this type of zone,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “A 2-3 zone is hard to score against, and I am happy to see that they scored as much as they did.”
Junior forward and captain Mia Davis contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds for her 13th career double-double.
Davis, Mackins, and Jones contributed 59 of the team’s 77 points.
Despite their overall scoring outburst, the Owls needed to make defensive adjustments at the half. They were out-rebounded in the first half, 17-11, and surrendered 20 points in the first quarter.
“We need to be better about putting a body on people and boxing them out,” Cardoza said. “Even if they’re not the same height, if we have heart, we can play defense better.”
The Owls’ adjustments at the half paid off, holding Fairfield to 28.6 percent on field goal attempts in the third quarter and limiting the Stags to only four three-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
“We need to have more communication on defense,” Mackins said. “We need to focus on both ends of the game and play better defense. There were too many lapses and easy points.”
Temple will continue their season against Duquesne University (0-1) at McGonigle Hall on Friday at 7 p.m.
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