The Owls women’s basketball team used a huge second half performance and a well-balanced offense to extend its winning streak to ten games with a 75-54 win in Wednesday’s matinee against the visiting George Washington Colonials.
“We had contributions from a lot of guys. It was another game with five guys in double figures which is great to see…I was definitely happy we were able to turn it around in the second half and play really good basketball,” Temple head coach Tonya Cardoza said.
The first half seemed like two halves as Temple controlled the first eight to ten minutes before momentum shifted and George Washington took over for the final ten minutes. At one point the Owls were up by nine and seemed to be collecting every rebound, then at another point the Owls went nine minutes while only scoring four points and the Colonials had taken a five-point lead.
In front of a small, yet restless crowd of mostly school children on field trips, Temple jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first three minutes. It was reminiscent of last season when Temple started the game against George Washington on a 28-2 run. Then junior forward Brittany Lewis came off the bench and knocked down two-three pointers pushing the lead to 18-6 in favor of the home team. But the Colonials were not about to let a repeat of last year happen. They switched to a zone defense and went on a 13-0 run over the next five minutes. A jumper by senior Kristen McCarthy snapped the run and gave the Owls the lead back. But George Washington kept up the pressure and Temple’s shooting stayed cold. The colonials managed to stretch the lead to five as the Owls scored four points in a nine-minute span but it was 32-30 at the half.
“Around the middle of the first half we started turning the ball over a lot and that was one thing I wasn’t happy about,” Cardoza said.
The second half was a whole different story. Right from the start senior guard Shey Peddy set the tone scoring seven of the team’s first nine points and assisted on the other bucket. She quickly led the team to regain the lead and they never looked back. Right from the start Temple took the air out of George Washington and took away all their momentum. What started as a 6-0 run turned into a 28-5 run over the first 13 minutes of the second half. That included an and-one play from McCarthy, and three-pointers by Peddy, McCarthy, freshman guard Reteska Brown, and senior guard BJ Williams. By the end of the run it was 58-37 with seven minutes to go. They finished the second half with 45 points on 64 percent shooting. It was the huge run they needed to pull away from the pesky Colonials.
“Obviously our guys took what we said at halftime, put it out on the floor, and locked down on defense,” Cardoza said.
McCarthy led the team with a game-high 21 points, which was complemented by Peddy’s 15, Lewis’ 14, Brown’s 10, and Victoria Macaulay’s 11. Temple improved to 17-8 overall and 10-1 in conference play. They’ll travel up north to play Rhode Island next on Sunday.