Temple University women’s basketball (13-10, 5-5 The American Athletic Conference) was handed its worst loss of the season by South Florida (14-9, 6-3 The AAC) Sunday afternoon by a score of 99-51.
USF got out to a hot shooting start and never looked back. The Bulls scored the most points of any team in The American all season, according to the ESPN broadcast.
“They ran their sets and got wide open shots and knocked them down,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “I believe pretty much the first possession they came off a screen and we didn’t defend it properly and the kid hit a wide open three. I think they had three of their first four shots were open threes.”
The Owls’ offense struggled in the first half, digging a hole the team couldn’t recover from.
Junior forward Mia Davis finished with 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting. She was 0-of-8 at halftime.
Davis was not the only Owl to struggle from the field. Sophomore guard Marissa Mackins shot 3-of-14, including going 2-of-11 from three. Sophomore forward Alexa Williamson shot 3-of-11 from the field.
The Owls finished the day shooting 28.8 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from three.
“When they’re knocking them down like that it’s hard to defend them and we’re going down the other end and we can’t capitalize on offense,” Cardoza said.
The lone bright spot on the Owls’ offense was senior center Shannen Atkinson. She shot 5-of-8 from the field and finished with 10 points, five rebounds and a block.
Atkinson and graduate student forward Lena Niang were the only Owls who shot over 27 percent from the field.
USF shot much more successfully. Freshman guard Elena Tsineke and sophomore point guard Sydni Harvey each had 25 points. Tsineke reached a career-high in points and had 21 of her 25 in the first half, while Harvey tied a career-high.
“We have to be able to defend better,” Cardoza said. “We gave up 99 points to a team we held to I think 60 the first time out so it all boils down to focusing and paying attention and making it more difficult for guys to score on us.”
USF shot over 50 percent from both the field and the three-point line. They shot 57 percent from the field while going 13-of-25 from three and 16-of-17 from the free-throw line.
The Owls will look to put this game behind them when they take on Houston (12-12, 5-5, The AAC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. at McGonigle Hall.