Coach Tonya Cardoza was not pleased with her team’s performance against No. 24/25 Ohio State on Friday.
The women’s basketball team dropped their first game of the season to the Buckeyes, 70-66, in a game that was sloppy and uncharacteristic of the way the Owls played in their first two games.
“When you’re playing a team like Ohio State on their home floor you have to do just about everything right,” Cardoza said. “We committed some of the dumbest fouls in the first half, where two of our better players are sitting on the bench with 10 minutes left in the first half.”
Temple had 21 personal fouls compared to Ohio State’s 12. Cardoza was not thrilled with the way her team rebounded, especially on the offensive end, while the box score after the game indicated otherwise—39 to 37 in favor of the Owls.
“Early on we gave up offensive rebounds that hurt us,” Cardoza said. “Down the stretch we didn’t give up those offensive rebounds and we were able to secure the rebound and go down to the other end and score.”
Temple found themselves down 36-28 at the half despite having a lead four times and things didn’t start out much better in the second half. After a 6-0 Owls run the Buckeyes responded with an 11-0 run and eventually pushed the lead to 15.
The Owls answered right back, chipping away at the lead but the Buckeyes kept fighting with small runs of their own. Finally the Owls managed to cut the lead to 68-66 in the final seconds after Peddy made back-to-back three’s but that was all they could manage. Buckeyes’ senior guard Samantha Prahalis iced the game with two final free throws.
“I really don’t know where [the energy] came from,” Cardoza said about the team’s second-half effort. “I wish it was there to start the game.”
Overall the Owls played fairly well in their first game against a ranked team this season. Temple made 40 percent of their shots while holding the Buckeyes to just under 40 percent, and they also made three of their 18 attempts from beyond the arc.
But defense and sloppy play hurt the Owls. Ohio State went to the line for 31 free throws, converting 25 of those attempts, while Temple committed 16 costly turnovers. The Buckeyes received solid offensive production from Prahalis and junior guard Tayler Hill, who scored 20 points and 24 points, respectively.
“Our strategy was to try and keep them out of the paint and they got too many points in the paint,” Cardoza said. “We just have to do a better job of knowing personnel and knowing how to defend.”
The Owls’ trio of senior guards BJ Williams, Kristen McCarthy and Shey Peddy were not nearly as dominant as their first two games. Williams had the best all around game with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Peddy struggled the most with just eight points, all of them coming in the second half, before her fifth foul on the night. McCarthy led the team with 14 points on 50-percent shooting.
Despite the late comeback, there was very little positive Cardoza saw from the game.
“We expected to win the game, so it’s not a moral victory,” she said.
The Owls will stay on the road this weekend as they travel to Northern Illinois on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.
Jake Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.