Two back-to-back wins have set a solid pace for the women’s basketball
team. Sunday’s 65-54 win marked the home opener for the Owls (2-0)
against Santa Clara.
To start things off, Stacey Smalls drained a three-pointer on her first
attempt. After that, it seemed like an uphill battle for Temple. Santa Clara’s
defense was able to cover the inside well, preventing freshman center
Candice Dupree from getting into a rhythm. They held the Owls scoreless
for six minutes, while racking up points and extending their lead to 5.
Turnovers and missed opportunities hurt the Owls in the first half. There
were nine turnovers in all and 36 missed shots. Sophomore guard
Khadija Bowens and Dupree, the stars of the Penn game, were virtually
out of sync, with Bowens going 0-7 and Dupree 0-2 from the field in the
Temple was able to contain Santa Clara’s offense at one point in the
game, holding them scoreless for five minutes, and came back to tie the
game with 1:39 left in the half.
Junior center Tynecia Pam’s aggressiveness, Smalls’ patience, and Toni
Belafonte’s contributions all balanced out Temple’s poor shooting in the
half, holding Santa Clara to 26 points at the break. The Owls went into the
locker room trailing, by only one point, 25-26, despite a lackluster
At the start of the second half, the Owls came out to redeem themselves,
scoring eight points early on, and taking the lead 33-30. Bowens, who did
not score in the first half, found other ways to contribute by adding two
assists. At the end of the game, Bowens would finish with eight assists
and five steals.
“I was ready to play defense, play offense, whatever I could do,” Bowens
said. “I can’t worry about the last play when I have the rest of the game to
Dupree came back with a bang in the second half, scoring all of her 12
points, and added four rebounds and five steals. Dupree, who was
named A-10 rookie of the week, couldn’t explain why she could not score
in the first half.
“Honestly I have no idea. I got into early foul trouble in the first half,”
said. “I knew I had to help the team out.”
Sophomore Ari Moore and Belafonte each added 11 points. Pam led all
Temple players with 14 points six rebounds and steals.
“She was huge for us,” Staley said. “She’s going to continue to grow and
get a little more aggressive and get a little more experience under her
In the Owls’ first regular season game at the University of Pennsylvania
last Friday and extended their unbeaten streak in the Big 5 from last
season with a 78-71 win over the Quakers.
Temple got off to a quick start, taking the lead early. They hit a modest
17-41 shots from the field, and were 2-7 behind the arc. Temple ended
the first half with a 38-29 lead over UPenn.
The second half was a different story from the floor for the Owls. UPenn
was able to claw back in contention by drawing fouls. The Quakers used
this to their advantage and hit 11-14 from the line, cutting the lead down to
single digits through much of the half.
However, Temple would not let go of the lead. The Owls kept up the
defensive pressure, forcing 21 turnovers in the game and capitalizing in
transition. Dupree and Bowens put on a clinic at UPenn. Dupree had 15
points and 17 rebounds while Bowens racked up 22 with 12 rebounds.
Saudia Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org