Temple women’s basketball freshman guard puts teammates first on the court

Freshman guard Asonah Alexander leads The American Athletic Conference in assists.

Freshman guard Asonah Alexander dribbles the ball during the Owls’ game against South Florida at McGonigle Hall on Jan. 16. | NICHOLAS DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In recent games, Temple women’s basketball (11-7, 4-2 The American Athletic Conference) has trusted freshman guard Asonah Alexander to set up the team’s offensive plays and direct players. 

She has started in ten of the last 11 games, filling in for former starter redshirt-sophomore guard Ashley Jones as the team’s main facilitator. 

“[Alexander] is one of those kids where she’s a freshman, but we don’t treat her like a freshman,” coach Tonya Cardoza. 

Alexander played high school ball at The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey. The team won the state title in her freshman year. In her senior year, she led her team with 101 assists.

At Temple, Alexander is still distributing, while her scoring game finds its footing. She averages 5.9 points per game, along with 5.4 rebounds and 4.83 assists per game. 

Her best game came on Dec. 10, 2019 against Villanova (11-7, 5-2 The Big East), where she was three assists shy of a triple-double. Alexander finished that game with 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. 

“The bright spot about [Alexander] is she doesn’t care about scoring,” Cardoza said. “I want her to look to score more, but she doesn’t care about scoring, and I love that about her.”

She leads The American in assists and assists to turnover ratio. 

Alexander said she needs to work on her jump shot and aggressiveness as a scorer. 

She shoots 40.9 percent from the floor, which is third on the team. 

Alexander is shooting 34.2 percent from three-point range, behind only sophomore guard Marissa Mackins. She has only attempted 38 three-pointers this season, which is fourth on the team. 

She has seen the most fluctuation in minutes per game out of anyone on the team.  She averages 29.5 minutes a game and has played anywhere from 38 to 16 minutes a game. 

“The way our team is we hold each other up and don’t let us be down on ourselves,” she said. 

Despite her occasional struggles and unstable court time, she has played her way into the starting lineup in recent games.

“It means everything to me that coach Cardoza puts her trust in me to put me out there on the floor,” she said, “I just have to give my all for her.” 

The Owls are playing well with her in the starting lineup. Temple has won the first four of their first five games of the year. 

“I feel bad for her sometimes because we act like she’s been playing college basketball for a few years,” Cardoza said. “But she has only played 17 games.”

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