Limiting turnovers is a key to victory, and the team that commits the fewest usually wins the game.
For the women’s basketball team, that magic number is 15.
The Owls defeated Saint Louis 76-56 Sunday at the Liacouras Center, behind a good performance from junior guard LaKeisha Eaddy. The victory was a strong showing for the Cherry and White even though they committed 19 turnovers in the contest, making it the ninth time in their last 10 games in which they had more than 15 giveaways.
Four players had four turnovers in the game, raising the team’s total to 416 turnovers this season.
Coach Tonya Cardoza said 15 turnovers are what the team strives for before each game. Unfortunately, that has been hard for the Owls to accomplish this season.
It’s been a season filled with turnovers, as Temple (15-7 overall, 6-2 Atlantic Ten Conference), has had fewer than 15 turnovers only five times.
“Sometimes I think we just get a little ahead of ourselves. We try to make plays that might not be there,” Cardoza said. “I think we just need to slow down sometimes. We go a little too fast for ourselves.”
Twice the Owls have finished with 29 turnovers (losses to No. 6 Auburn and No. 4 Duke), which ties for second most by an A-10 team. In all, the team has 10 games in which it has had more than 20 turnovers.
The Owls like to run a more up-tempo style of play, which usually creates more turnovers. But that hasn’t been the case this year.
“We’re not running that much when we get our turnovers. They’re in the halfcourt set with a lot of times traveling being called,” Cardoza said.
The Owls are currently 6-1 this season when committing fewer turnovers than their opponents but 8-6 when giving up more errors.
“In the second half, when [Saint Louis] started pressuring, I think that I slowed myself up so it would allow me to make better decisions,” Eaddy said.
She had just one turnover in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Eaddy currently ranks second in the conference with a 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio. As a team, the ratio is at 0.82.
The Owls are going to need to commit fewer turnovers down the stretch, as the final six games could decide their fate in the postseason. They are all against conference opponents, including the home finale against No. 23 Xavier, which currently stands undefeated in the A-10 at 8-0.
“I really wish I could find a way to limit them to under 15,” Cardoza said.
The Owls travel to Massachusetts Wednesday before next Sunday’s showdown with rival Saint Joseph’s.
“The stretch that we have coming up is really, really tough, but the type of basketball that we’re playing right now, we’re probably prepared for that,” Cardoza said.
Joe Serpico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.