Temple’s women’s basketball team controlled the turnover battle and rebounds on both ends of the court to win its home opener, 68-46, against Eastern Middle Tennessee State at McGonigle Hall Friday night.
Temple (2-1) was fired up from the get go, especially after a 38-point loss to Michigan State last weekend.
“You never forget something like that,” point guard Cynthia Jordan said. “But you just gotta look to take all your aggression out on the next opponent and I think we did tonight.”
Jordan set a career high in assists (10) and posted her first career double-double with 10 points.
Sophomore center Candice Dupree and Senior guard Christena Hamilton also put up good numbers. Dupree had a team-high 14 points and shot 70 percent from the floor and Hamilton added 12 points and five assists.
But an early first half injury to ETSU playmaker Lauren Trantham gave Temple the edge. Trantham grabbed five rebounds before she left the game in the middle of the first half.
The Lady Bucs only shot 1 of 10 from the field and turned the ball over twice in Trantham’s six-minute absence.
As the second half began, Temple took control. The Owls shot 48.4 percent from the field in the second half and never looked back.
“If it’s open, we knock it down,” said Hamilton of the team’s percentage. “Our team did a good job of finding the open man, getting the ball to [Dupree], and we just tried to knock down the shots.”
Temple’s largest lead was 22 points, which came in the second half.
Temple won the turnover battle, 17-10, and handed the ball over only four times after intermission.
“We’re not a team that turns the ball over a whole lot,” coach Dawn Staley said. “It was a conscious effort on our part not to do it after the first half. We just had to get back to making the easy play, making the extra pass.”
Forward Tiffani Mayes led the way for the Bucs with a game high 16 points in a losing effort.
This marked just the second game at McGonigle Hall during Staley’s era. The team was forced into the secondary facility because of events at the Liacouras Center this weekend.
Christopher Vito can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.