In spite of losing the first two games of the season, Temple women’s basketball has had five different players score in double figures.
At the start of last season, the Owls had six different players score in double figures in their season opener against Lehigh, a lopsided 89-55 win.
Last season, forwards Lisa Jakubowicz and Athena Christoforakis, and point guard Stacey Smalls all finished the season averaging at least 10 points.
Last season they all started on the same page and were able to get the team off to a fast start winning seven out of the first nine games.
In losses to Evansville and Kentucky thus far, the trio along with the rest of the upperclassmen have produced numbers. But they haven’t produced them together on the same night.
Against Evansville, Christoforakis took over the game in the second half to rally her team and finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
But Christoforakis failed to get help from Jakubowicz who contributed one point and two-rebounds. Junior Chrissy Cruz provided 10 points and five rebounds.
Smalls struggled to find her touch against Evansville. But in the end she shot 5-for-17 from the field and squeezed out 16 points.
“I’m comfortable but offensively my shots aren’t falling but there’s nothing you can do about that,” Smalls said. “That comes with time, things are going to fall you got to keep working hard in practice, it’ll come to you.”
Smalls’ backcourt-mates had a hard time as well. Senior Natalia Isaac fouled out and junior Regan Apo only had one point.
Against Kentucky, Jakubowicz showed positive signs. She had an excellent game scoring 15 points and pulling down eight boards. Suspect was senior Ieesha Turnage who made her first appearance of the season.
But Christoforakis and Smalls were held in check by the Wildcats to a combined 10 points.
Smalls still hadn’t found her touch and shot 2-for-12 from the field. She is a combined 7-for-29 from the floor.
Sophomore forward Christena Hamilton had a break-out performance with 12 points and four boards off the drive and around the perimeter against Kentucky.
“Basically I was in the right spots at the right time in the Kentucky game where as in the Evansville game I wasn’t in the right spots where I should have been to be effective,” said Hamilton, who only had four points off of free throws against Evansville.
The rest of the team needs to be in the right spot at the right time. If the Owls can get everyone playing on the same level and have consistency from its starters and the deep bench they carry then the W’s should start piling up.
The Owls have a lot of role players. Apo, Toni Belafonte and freshman Ari Moore will need to be productive especially off of the transition.
“We’re all definitely trying to get in rhythm at the same time but that will come with experience and learning with the coaches,” Hamilton said. “But we’re trying to do it at the same time, so I’m sure we’ll get there, everybody’s working hard.”