On Wednesday night, Temple women’s basketball (13-9, 5-4 The American Athletic Conference) fell to Wichita State (13-10, 5-5 The AAC) for the second time this season by a final score of 85-75. Redshirt-sophomore guard Ashley Jones led the Owls in scoring with 24 points on the night.
“I felt like, the energy level, how committed we were on the defensive side, I just felt like we didn’t have that,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “When we’re not making shots, we don’t bear down and focus on the defensive side.”
“But a lot of it just boils down to pride, having pride in how you look on the defensive side,” Cardoza added.
Temple committed 20 turnovers and Wichita State scored 34 points off those takeaways. Wichita also scored 19 fastbreak points, as Shockers senior guard Maya Brewer led the team in scoring with 19 points from the field.
“We turned the ball over too many times,” sophomore guard Marissa Mackins said. “We couldn’t take care of it, I think they scored 34 points off of turnovers. I had six myself, and that’s just unacceptable. Yeah, we just can’t turn the ball over that many times and expect to win.”
“I had seven, so as I was telling Marissa out there as point guards we should not have had that many turnovers put together,” Jones said. “That should never happen in no game no matter what.”
The Shockers went 55.6 percent on three-point field goals and 50.8 percent from the field, while Temple went 33.3 percent from three and 42.6 percent from the field. Wichita State held the lead for 27 minutes, 32 seconds.
“Personally I think we weren’t talking,” Mackins said. “We weren’t communicating, and then when they did hit all those threes, it was we, it was like we got down on ourselves so. And we just stopped playing.”
Temple’s largest lead came at 23-15 at the conclusion of the first quarter. The Owls’ last lead came at 28-27 with five minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Wichita State’s largest lead was 16 when they made it an 84-68 game with two minutes, 35 seconds left in the fourth.
“So it’s going to be hard for us to win games if we don’t commit ourselves on the defensive side and it’s something that I’ve said all year,” Cardoza said. “It just gets to the point where you got to take pride in, in how you look and want to get stops because there’s no way that this team should score 80 something points.”
Wichita State scored 43 points off the bench compared to Temple’s 12 points. Behind Brewer’s 19 bench points, freshman guard DJ McCarty scored 14 and redshirt-sophomore center Asia Henderson tallied 10 points.
“You know it’s not really our bench, I feel like the guys that are starters are our top scorers,” Cardoza said. “[Freshman guard Asonah Alexander] and [senior center Shannen Atkinson] are the guys that really come off the bench and they’re not really looking to score as much so most of our production usually comes from our starters.”
Temple only scored 14 points off Wichita’s 15 turnovers and 12 fastbreak points on the night. Jones, Mackins and sophomore forward Alexa Williamson each recorded two steals.
“It all starts with our guard play,” Cardoza said. “If we’re not taking care of the basketball and being committed on the defensive side, it’s going to be hard.”
The Owls’ next game is on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Tampa against South Florida. Temple will then face Houston (12-11, 5-4 The AAC) on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at McGonigle Hall.