Dogged by turnovers and poor shot attempts in the second half, Temple University women’s basketball (5-6, 5-3 The American Athletic Conference) lost in a blowout against Tulane (9-5, 5-4 The American) 80-44 Saturday afternoon.
Despite leading by one point at halftime after scoring on a variety of looks in the paint, the Owls scored just nine points in the second half.
“I was just shocked with how we responded to the first half,” said head coach Tonya Cardoza. “We came out nonchalant and just not focused.”
After a slow start to the first quarter, the Owls finished the first half strong. Temple went 8-for-12 from the field in the second quarter, but the mistakes piled up in the third quarter as the Owls committed seven of their 17 turnovers.
“I feel like we just didn’t regroup, and it was like we were defeated in the first three minutes and we let it fall out of control,” Cardoza said.
Tulane went on a quick 8-0 run in the third quarter and never looked back from there. After playing a normal half-court defense in the first half, they employed a soft full-court press in the second half, and Temple struggled to break it.
“It wasn’t like they were aggressive with the press,” Cardoza said. “We were just too casual with the basketball and not focused on what we were trying to get accomplished.”
The Owls shot just 2-of-23 from the field in the second half, including shooting 0-of-11 from the field in the fourth quarter. Temple also struggled from the 3-point range as they made just 4-of-20 attempts during the entire game.
Senior forward Mia Davis made both of the team’s field goals in the second half.
The Owls received good contributions from their post scorers in the first half. Davis had nine points at halftime and junior forward Alexa Williamson scored 12. Davis finished with just 14 points, and Williamson finished with 13.
“We went away from what was working for us in the first half, and that was pounding the ball inside,” Cardoza said. “We ended up just jacking up shots. We just didn’t get into anything and ended up just turning the basketball over.”
The Owls’ offensive struggles affected the team’s defensive effort as well. The Green Wave shot 62.5 percent from the field in the second half. Tulane was led by their standout freshman guard JerKaila Jordan, who scored 22 points and shot 10-of-14 from the field.
The Owls will have the chance to make up the loss as they play Tulane again tomorrow at 12 p.m. in New Orleans, Louisiana.