Temple trying to promote women’s basketball

The Temple men’s and women’s basketball teams will compete in the first of two doubleheaders this Saturday at the Liacouras Center.

The women’s team plays Villanova at 2 p.m. and the men play Penn State at 4 p.m. The second doubleheader is on Dec. 30.

Both teams are 0-2 and could get their first wins of the season in front of the home crowd.

The athletic department worked hard to schedule the doubleheader to try and bring in a large crowd to an event that will showcase four in-state teams.

“We’re excited about this doubleheader especially with the rival opponents that can bring in good competition and crowds,” Associate Athletic Director Scott Cathcart said.

Cathcart, Athletic Director Dave O’Brien, Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Don Haskin and Zach Conen, the director of advertising, promotions and ticket sales, feel that the work put into organizing the combined event will help promote both teams within and outside the community.

The men’s team already receives national attention from posting winning seasons, yearly NCAA tournament appearances, and Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney prowling the sidelines.

They have been rewarded with national television exposure on virtually every station covering college basketball. The men’s team has 23 televised games, while the women’s team only has seven games carried on the radio.

Attendance at women’s games improved last season, but the Liacouras Center doesn’t even get a quarter-filled for women’s games.

“It’s hard to schedule doubleheaders because the men’s basketball schedule is dependent on its national television schedule,” Cathcart said.

But after last season’s improvement and nationally-recognized Dawn Staley coaching the team, the women’s team looks like they could be destined to travel the same path as the men’s team.

But regardless of the turnout the games will go on and for the women’s team preparation will be vital. The Owls are 6-21 all-time against Villanova.

“We’re just trying to prepare the team no matter who is in the stands whether it’s 30, 100 or 1,000 people,” Staley said. “It’s important for us to play well. We want to establish a reputation.”

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